House of Assembly: Vol112 - FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY 1984


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the order for the Second Reading of the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Amendment Bill [B 22—84] be discharged and the Bill withdrawn.

Agreed to.


The House proceeded to the consideration of private members’ business.


Mr Speaker, I move:

That this House affirms that the preservation of the right of self-determination of the Whites in South Africa can only be ensured by the implementation of the policy of separate development.

Mr Speaker, I do not think hon members will take it amiss of me if I take special pleasure in moving this motion here today. I do not want to lapse into personal references, but I do so for a reason. It is exactly 12 years ago that I made my maiden speech in this House. My reason for referring to that is that I think that in my conduct in this House over the years I have stood quite consistently by the principles I put forward here on that day.

There is a constituency which has been very much in the news over the past year, and I refer to the constituency of Soutpansberg. Last year there was a by-election as a result of a challenge issued in this House, a challenge the contents of which I do not have to repeat. The outcome of the challenge was that the majority which the sitting member had achieved in 1981 was drastically reduced. That majority was reduced by about 3 000 votes. Even on that occasion it was a candidate of the CP that achieved this. Within a year, when the voters in that constituency—and elsewhere too, perhaps—were a little weary of holding elections and drawing crosses, that constituency had a chance to go to the polls for the third time. On that occasion the support for the governing party’s candidate dropped by a further 761. In view of the fact that there was a reduced percentage poll, I think it was remarkable that the candidate of this young party, the CP, with the same candidate as before, increased its number of votes by between 300 and 400. We think that that is an achievement.

It is true that one swallow does not make a summer. However, I think that the Soutpansberg swallow is flying in a very definite direction. I do not think there is any doubt where it is heading. Without making too much of success in one constituency or inferring too much from it, I have nevertheless observed—it is an observation based on events over recent months and even, perhaps, over the past year—that the voters are reconsidering the implications of political power-sharing and multiracial government.

It is my impression that in Soutpansberg, in Waterberg and in many other “bergs” as well, there are second thoughts about the implications of the new constitution. I have also observed that the policy of the CP and the principles for which it stands are increasingly being seen for what they really are and for what they really mean. It is true that in politics, policies and principles of parties sometimes undergo somewhat rough treatment or are represented in a different way. The claim I want to make today, however, is that to the extent that the true principles and policy of the CP become known and are not distorted and become clear to the voters, there will be greater confidence, and people will also perceive that the principles of this party are not based on deprivation, oppression and the denial of people either personally or corporatively, nor are they based on depriving specific groups of their political rights. If that policy is seen for what it is in the positive sense, then it is White self-determination, parallel to the right of self-determination of other groups, that is to say the Brown people, the Asians and the various Black peoples, on the basis of separate development.

The question could perhaps be asked with regard to the concept of separate development whether it has not become an obsolete or out-of-date concept. The answer to that is: Concepts become obsolete. The content of concepts wears out. It is true that certain concepts change their content. As a certain author said, one has a case of “newspeak”, where one still uses the same word but often means something very different to the original content. It is true that certain concepts can fall into discredit. It is also true that the concepts “apartheid” or “separate development”—not only the sound of them, but their content—have fallen into discredit. To tell the truth, in certain quarters these concepts and what they stand for have never been accepted and have always been regarded as objectionable.

The question is: Are the realities such as nationhood, ethnic identity and nationalism—and when I say that I am not referring to the broad state nationalism for which a plea has been made, but the nationalism of a people—obsolete or out-of-date concepts? Are they out of date as realities in South Africa? I am aware that there are certain authors and thinkers, thinkers who contribute to the political thinking of the NP, who in fact think that we have come to the end of White nationhood (“volkskap”) in South Africa and that we are in fact on our way out and should propagate the opposite in this country. The question is: Is the number of sovereign states dwindling or increasing? As I see it, they are increasing. In other words, we are not getting a concentration of more and more peoples within a single constitutional context. What is happening is that various ethnic groups or peoples are striving to acquire their own political structures and establish a state of their own within their own territory. The number is increasing, chiefly because striving to have a state of their own is normal for an adult people. I think that that is the reason why the number of states is increasing. Over the past decade in Southern Africa we have seen an increase in the number of independent states on a basis of nationhood and the demand of peoples to have its own political structure and constitutional context.

It is sometimes alleged that the idea of separate nation states (“volkstate”) is an obsolete one, that it belongs to the nineteenth century, or even that it is primitive. On the contrary, what are the realities of what is happening in the world? I am now going to use what are perhaps hackneyed examples, but they are nonetheless real for all that. We know about the failure of the federation of Malawi, Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, and we know, too, why it failed. We are aware of the failure of a united Cyprus. We are aware of the failure of the effort to keep India and Pakistan under central political control. We are acquainted with the problems in Northern Ireland. An American author says that it was only after the events in Northern Ireland and Central Africa had exploded in the faces of the liberal world that they perceived that a recipe of power-sharing did not succeed. We know about the failure in Lebanon, where there are no race differences, but for the most part religious differences. I think that Lebanon, too, has a message for South Africa. That message is: “Take care what you do, because even religious differences among people can be serious enough to have political implications.” We know, too, about the massacre in Biafra. Then there is the inability of a civilized country like Belgium—where there are no race differences, but only cultural differences—to come to a satisfactory constitutional solution. We are also aware of the events in the Middle East, and the idea of the United States that they are even in favour of a homeland for the Palestines in the Middle East. They have not yet said where. Then there is Singapore, which broke away from Malaysia for ethnic reasons. All these examples attest to the existence of ethnicity and its political implications.

Another question is: Is the emphasis on White self-determination not a selfish approach? To that my reply is: No-one would contend that there is no covetousness or greed on the part of the Whites. No-one would contend that we are innocent of that. Indeed, the world is full of covetousness, greed and violence. Next to the pursuit of one’s own freedom and escape from domination, there is imperialism and the striving for domination. We encounter this in Smith Africa. I wish to state clearly today that the CP is opposed to any idea of White domination of any other people in South Africa. It is our firm standpoint that as far as possible, identifiable peoples who pursue self-determination should be afforded the opportunity to achieve and practise the highest degree and form of political self-determination.

On one occasion Dr Motlana said that he could not understand why there was any objection to the idea of domination. He said that domination had almost always existed. He then said: “We are going to dominate you; I am sorry that I have to tell you that so bluntly.” This is what he said to the Whites. I mention this merely because not all people who pursue freedom in South Africa also have in mind the freedom of the Whites in South Africa. These are people who adopt a kind of imperialistic view, and that view makes no provision for the actual existence in freedom of the Whites of South Africa.

I want to point out that in this country, and in the rest of the world as well, there is a sickly guilt complex that is being forced upon the Whites. I certainly do not wish to say that the Whites have no reason to admit guilt on certain points, but then I do not accept a vague charge-sheet against my people; I simply want the charges to be specified for me. It is true that there is a kind of sickly guilt complex that is being forced upon the Whites, and that is happening in this country as well. There is a cowardly spirit of capitulation when it comes to the right of self-determination of the Whites and their exercise of that right. There is an obsession with mixing and multiracialism. Moreover, a duality may be observed in the ideas of certain thinkers who, for certain reasons, still want to cling to the idea of separateness, but who put the main stress on mixing, multiracialism and joint decision-making, and in all this separateness is in fact lost. There are also political formulas that do not begin to do justice to ethnic autonomy, neither elsewhere in the world nor in South Africa.

Another question is whether we do not perhaps have an obsession about separation. This is an accusation which is indeed made. I admit that there are those who may have an obsession about separation, but there is also an obsession about mixing, togetherness, equality and an open community. There are also people with an obsession about individualism, in accordance with which a country like South Africa merely consists of a mass of 28 to 29 million people, a mass of individuals, who have to exercise their political rights more or less on the basis of one man, one vote.

We say division boundaries, are important. This sets limits on the individual’s rights and freedoms vis-à-vis the rights and freedoms of others, and in my opinion that is quite natural. However, to us separation is not an aim in itself. We do not advocate separation for the sake of separation. I should like it placed on record that we cannot shunt people and communities around purely for the sake of separation. Nor have we ever advocated watertight separation, or that there may be no contact among the various ethnic groups. We have never argued that there should be no consultation and no provision of aid or that there may be no communality among the various groups.

The regulation of relations among people and the assignment of rights and claims does, however, go hand in hand with spatial ordering to a large extent. After all, everyone does not have a common claim to every inch of land. Whites, Brown people and Indians do not have a joint claim to every inch of land in South Africa, because otherwise the whole idea of group areas and corporative rights as far as this is concerned, lapses. There is an element of exclusivity when it comes to formation of communities, private ownership and corporative rights. Exclusivity entails boundaries and division. With joint governmental structures—and this is also at issue—there is no real separate freedom, and without separate freedom one cannot speak about full-fledged self-determination.

It is contended that economic realities, interlinking or interdependence, make separate development impossible or impracticable. These are arguments that we hear. In my opinion the answer to that may be that economic interdependence is a fact worldwide. There is not a single state that is at all times absolutely self-sufficient with regard to raw materials, oil, scientific knowledge, industrial products or food. Indeed, the various countries in the EEC recognize that they are not self-sufficient in all respects. However, the fact is that while there is an admission of no absolute self-sufficiency at specific levels, they still remain sovereign States in Europe, the highest political authorities of which are not shared, although there is also a European Parliament. Although there is economic interdependence in South Africa and, in important respects, economic dependence of the Black national states on the Republic of South Africa, it is nevertheless a fact that those independent states with their depedence in the economic sphere do not forfeit their autonomy and political independence; instead, efforts are being made to provide a sounder economic infrastructure for political independence.

These young states that live in economic dependence on the Republic, and realize it, nevertheless have their own territories. They have also established their own constitutions. This, of course is a right that was given to them. The trouble with us—and this is what we object to—is that while we hand this out to the Black peoples, while we provide those small peoples with their own territory, their own constitution, their own security services, their own budget and so on, the Whites in South Africa will be deprived of that right in the new dispensation that is awaiting us. [Interjections.] We are going to be deprived of that.

I want to associate myself with a question which is asked by way of the title of a book. For those peoples, large and small, we have Black states. The Whites, however, ask where their homeland is in terms of a territory of their own over which the Whites govern exclusively. This is a question that is being asked. The Whites want to know why increasing attention is not being given to the recognition and implications of this.

One may well ask how successful the opposite of separate development is throughout the world and of course South Africa. How successful is political or even social integration? Surely the fact of the matter is that it is being rejected by virtually every state in Africa, wherever attempts have been made to integrate Black peoples with the Europeans who have remained there. Perhaps it is true that a group of Whites have remained there. I do not believe that there is any question at all of meaningful integration. Still less is there any question of the maintenance of the rights of European communities within such an African state.

The fact is also that integration would signify the end of the smaller Black states and ethnic groups. There was a time when Pres Mangope reacted to the invitation that the Tswanas be linked with the Inkatha movement. In any event his reaction—I do not have his precise words with me—was totally negative. He rejected it.

It was unacceptable to virtually the entire White population. I believe that integration, out-and-out integration, is unacceptable to the entire White population. I should say that for a certain section of the White population a kind of disguised integration, a half-baked integration, is indeed acceptable but only, of course, until it comes to the crunch; until one has a situation such as occurred in Randburg, where people voted in favour of the throwing open of certain facilities, but when it came to the crunch, they signed petitions opposing the opening. What is more, the people then asked whether there were not additional petitions they could sign. That is what happens when people begin to be painfully aware of these things. Then, too, I wish to point out clearly that race differences are almost consistently ignored until people experience integration themselves, as happened in the case to which I have just referred.

It is now being contended that the formula for success is consensus politics. Some months ago members of the President’s Council made a great fuss about the success they had now achieved; the fine formula they had now discovered—instead of confrontation politics it was now consensus politics. My reply to this is that the consociational model that that fits into is one that stands for government by a coalition, for matual veto and for proportionality and segmental autonomy. Surely that is the recipe. Having placed that in that cadre, I want to ask the following question this morning. I want to know from the hon gentlemen who make such a fuss about the success of consensus politics, what kind of result has been achieved by the consensus politics practised in the President’s Council? What does it look like? Those gentlemen sit there praising one another to the skies about the fine spirit that prevails there without having to account for their actions to an electorate or give any account of the standpoint they have adopted there. They sit there in their ivory tower. It is a kind of elite discussion that takes place there.

At the same time they do reach a fine consensus, but not one of them has the responsibility of going back to a constituency to to an electorate to ask whether they acted correctly, so that they could be sacked if the voters did not agree with them

Surely that consensus means the end of this White Parliament as a sovereign body. That is the consensus that is being achieved. That consensus that has been achieved, is surely a mixed government for the whole of South Africa, taking into account, of course, a Ministers’ Council for the various groups. However, when it comes to the final authority, to the question of matters of common concern, it is a multiracial government for the whole of South Africa.

That is the fruit of consensus thinking. It contains the principle of a veto by a minority, and certain authorities have rightly said that one can then speak about a tyranny of the minority. That would be so if this were to be implemented consistently. Surely this entails that one cannot maintain one’s own authority side-by-side with other equal authorities in one’s own area of jurisdiction. This implies a false assumption, viz that the majority will allow itself to be thwarted by the minority. Surely that cannot happen consistently. Moreover, it means that in point of fact a political party cannot carry out any mandate from it voters. It comes up against the equal authority of the other two equal Houses in the new dispensation. Surely it is true that one will not have responsible government, a government that will be able to give an account of the mandate it has received from its voters. It can simply shrug and say: Well, we are in a consociational model; we can be vetoed by minorities: we have to make our way as best we can, but you cannot expect of us to carry out a policy for which you sent us to the White House!

This segmental autonomy, the control of one’s own affairs, the reliance on own affairs, which, it is alleged, can still be maintained in the new dispensation, was a very important factor in setting people’s minds at rest. They said: There you have the self-determination of the Whites in black and white. It is true that as far as own affairs are concerned, it appears in black and white. The contention as regards the administration of own affairs goes like this: Therein lies the guarantee for segmental autonomy or self-determination. I contend that that is wishful thinking, if not political deception. A people does not have self-determination—and I say this categorically—if it does not have its own parliament. And now the Whites’ Parliament, as a Parliament, will be taken away from them. That is the simple truth. A people does not have self-determination if it does not have its own constitution. We are willing to have the small peoples be afforded the opportunity to draw up their own constitution, but the Whites do not have their own constitution, nor can they amend that constitution. They will not be able to amend it with regard to specific points that must accord with its demand for freedom unless they have the consent of two smaller Houses in the new Parliament. As far as self-determination is concerned, a specific people is held captive in a constitution, in the same way as in a political prison, when it realizes that it cannot amend it to accord with its freedom if another minority group refuses it permission to do so; and that is what will happen.

The hon member for Smithfield is not present at the moment and I do not really want to address him in his absence. However, I just want to make one remark. The hon member intimated that if the CP were to gain a majority in the White House, it would still be irrelevant. It could obtain the support of the White voters for its principles and its policy, but it would not help it at all, because it would be caught fast in the new situation—it would be in a political prison. I want to ask the hon member: In his view, is there no possibility that a majority in the other Houses could ever perceive the wisdom of separate freedoms? Is there no possibility of that? I also want to ask a further question: Say for argument’s sake the White House was convinced that section 37 of the constitution should be amended—and that section reads: “Parliament shall consist of three Houses …”—because it does not meet the demand of the Whites for true self-determination, and say for argument’s sake the Whites were to say: We want our own White Parliament back—not, surely, an unreasonable demand; and they added that it is the natural implication of self-determination—and say, for argument’s sake, the Coloureds were to agree with that, but in the Indian House the votes in respect of such a proposal for the amendment of the constitution were 23 to 22 against such an amendment—would the hon member be satisfied with that? Would he accept such a situation?

One does not make peoples for constitutions but one does make a constitution for a people. One does not make various ethnic groups and peoples and race groups into a nation simply to fit in with one’s political recipe. I want to quote a single paragraph from a work by the American author, Richard Weaver:

Enough has been said to show that our culture today is faced with serious threats in the form of rationalistic drives to prohibit in the name of equality cultural segregation. The effect of this would be to break up the natural cultural cohesion and to try to replace it with artificial politically dictated integration.

I think that this author has summed it up in a nutshell. One can have a political power bloc which, for the sake of a political recipe or formula, distorts and breaks down the ordinary cultural life and the ordinary life of the people in order to adapt it to the political recipe. One does not make an artificial nation of various peoples and ethnic groups because one is married to a political formula of power-sharing and integration or consociation.

It must be possible to amend a constitution. Indeed, constitutions are amended. In all humility I want to say that as long as one has living peoples in this country with a realization of their own value and with a striving for self-determination, a striving to have one’s own highest political authority over their own affairs, one will have a striving to amend the constitution to adapt it to that demand of own freedom. This does not apply to the Whites alone; it will also apply to the others.

Is it necessary for me to address the House further about the loss of self-determination in the consociation model? A people does not have political self-determination under a multiracial government. A people does not have its own government in a multiracial coalition government. Surely that is what is being pressed upon and will be imposed upon South Africa. It has a President that will be able to decide at his own discretion what own affairs are, and whether they are matters of common concern. Surely that is not self-determination. A President who, in the case of differences between versions of a specific Act, will be able to govern the country with the decision of the President’s Council plus a single House—it could be a House the members of which are very much in the minority—surely does not entail self-determination. Surely there is no self-determination for one’s people with a budget about which other peoples and their political representatives have an equal say. Surely that does not constitute self-determination. One’s people does not have real self-determination if virtually all its own affairs are subject to general legislation.

The answer lies in separate development. Together with all the mechanisms we have for consultation and deliberation, there must exist one’s own highest political body of authority which is accountable to the people. One’s own executive power of authority must exist. There must be own security services to protect the political freedom and other rights of that people. Those are the demands of self-determination. There must be own physical space, because otherwise one will be in a situation where we say that we have one joint fatherland; we demand our own affairs, but those own affairs are all subject to the decision of the President, they are all subject to general legislation and to one budget for all the own affairs.

Against this background there is only one healthy endeavour and that is to make provision for the various ethnic groups and peoples in this country on the road that the NP has followed admirably up to this point, viz the pursuit of own constitutional context and own territory for the various peoples and also for the Whites.

*Dr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay):

Mr Speaker, this morning the hon member for Waterberg, clever dick (slim kind) that he is, introduced a cleverly worded motion here. The hon member is well enough acquainted with the Afrikaans language, to know what I mean by the word “slim” in this context. The wording of the motion might just as well have been taken verbatim from an NP publication. Consequently I have no objection to and cannot find fault with the motion as it is worded. However, what I do object to and what I do find fault with, is the alien and deviant interpretation which the hon member attaches to this wording, for what did we experience here this morning? The hon member gave us an ingenious account of, or lecture on, hypothetical situations which could arise. Then, without being specific or in any way laying his accusations at the door of this side of the House or at the door of the official Opposition, the hon member went on to argue in general that these situations were not acceptable or admissible.

Mr Speaker, one could agree with many of the things the hon member for Waterberg said, because they were in fact self-evident. However, the hon member also said quite a number of things with which one could certainly not agree with at all. Inter alia he asked the question whether nationalism of the people (“volksnasionalisme”) had become an obsolete concept in South Africa. In the same breath he went on to ask whether the Afrikaner people were on their way out. I immediately want to reply categorically to both these questions of the hon member: “No, nationalism of the people is not an outdated concept in South Africa and the Afrikaner people are not on their way out either.” What is, however, also a fact is that as far as the Whites, Coloureds and Indians are concerned, such a thing as nationalism of the people does not and never has existed in South Africa. Surely the hon member knows that the concept of a “people” is a cultural historic concept, whereas the concept of “nationalism” is a constitutional concept. In the case of the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians in South Africa, we have never had a nationalism of the people, nor is such a thing attainable.

The hon member also referred to spatial ordering, as if those of us on this side of the House do not also accept and subscribe to the concept of spatial ordering. However, he then went on to give an interpretation to the concept of spatial ordering which was just another way of stating his Coloured homeland policy, a matter with which we cannot agree at all. The hon member continued in this manner, but I do not want to confine myself to him. I should like to make a few statements of my own.

Twenty-two years ago Dr Verwoerd announced that the policy of separate development meant separateness, but at the same time it also meant equal opportunities for every population group. In other words, every people could develop, in its own way to realize its full potential. What does this involve as far as exercising the right of self-determination is concerned?

The right of self-determination of the Whites in South Africa is an important factor in ensuring the self-determination of the other peoples and population groups in South Africa. The National Party considers the right of self-determination of the Whites as a principle which is not open to negotiation. No constitutional or political structure which does not make provision for the retention and preservation of the right of self-determination of the Whites will therefore be acceptable to the National Party.

Self-determination for the other peoples and population groups in South Africa can only be realized and assured through and under the guidance of the National Party. The policy of the Progressive Federal Party, the official Opposition, is not a policy of self-determination, but rather of joint determination, whereas the policy of the Conservative Party is not one of self-determination for other peoples and population groups, but only the acceptance of and acquiescence in what the Whites determine for themselves.

The National Party demands the right of self-determination on behalf of the Whites as a prerequisite for the recognition of the right of self-determination of other peoples and population groups in South Africa. This is stated in the 1981 manifesto of the National Party, the one which the hon member for Waterberg also signed. It is expressly stated there, and I quote:

Indeed, the maintenance of the rights of the Whites is a prerequisite for the maintenance of the rights of the other nations and population groups. Consequently, the National Party rejects a one-man-one-vote system in a single state, whether it be unitary or federal.

However, the right of self-determination of other nations and population groups is also a prerequisite for the preservation of White self-determination. Even when the hon members of the Conservative Party sitting over there were still members of the National Party, it was always part of the National Party’s policy that what the Whites demand for themselves, they are also prepared to grant to other peoples and population groups. I want to quote again from the manifesto of the National Party:

The National Party commits itself to guaranteeing the established rights of the Whites by granting to the other nations and population groups the same rights.

This is stated in the manifesto which was endorsed by the hon members of the CP.

In any case it is part of the political reality of South Africa that we can only maintain and protect the right of self-determination of the Whites if we also grant the right of self-determination to the other population groups as well. Although on the one hand the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians historically share the same geographical area, there are on the other deep-rooted differences between these population groups. Is it therefore realistic to differentiate between what is unique to each of them and what is of common concern to all of them. This means that each of the three population groups has to have self-determination over its own affairs and that all of them have to be involved in matters of common concern, and this has to take place in such a way that it will not interfere with the self-determination of any one of the population groups. This is in fact the basis of the new constitution and the political dispensation which will be founded on it.


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

*Dr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay):

No, I do not have the time now.

The right of self-determination of nations is one of the basic human rights recognized in international law. In article 1 of the United Nations Charter, the “Purposes of the United Nations” are stated inter alia as follows:

To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

The authority on international law, Good-speed, also endorsed this principle, inter alia, in his book The Nature and Function of International Organizations 1959, on pages 497-8.

Disregarding or tampering with the right of self-determination of other population groups must of necessity give rise to confrontation and possible conflict through which the self-determination of the Whites will be jeopardized and seriously endangered. It is not possible in a country with a population structure such as South Africa has to preserve and to ensure the right of self-determination of one of the population groups only. Unless the right of self-determination of all population groups is recognized, respected and preserved, the self-determination of none of them will be safe.

White self-determination and the self-determination of the other peoples and population groups can only be ensured by the recognition of the existence of groups and the use of the group as a basis for constitutional development in the country. Only peoples or population groups are entitled to the right of self-determination, not individuals. In this connection I want to refer to Ian Brownley’s The Principle of Public International Law, 1973. I am unable to quote from this work owing to lack of time.

The right of self-determination therefore presupposes the recognition of multinationalism, but then it is not merely a recognition of multinationalism as an incidental phenomenon in the South African community as the PFP wants to suggest, but presupposes the recognition and acceptance of multinationalism in South Africa as the basis for the exercising of political rights. This is probably the basic difference between us and the hon members of the official Opposition. They also recognize multinationalism of the South African society, but, they maintain, it should not be the basis for the exercising of political rights. We maintain there cannot be self-determination for peoples or population groups if multinationalism and the various peoples and population groups do not serve as a basis for the exercising of political rights.

I therefore move as an amendment to the motion of the hon member for Waterberg:

To omit all the words after “affirms” and to substitute—
  1. “(1) that the right of self-determination of the Whites in South Africa is an important factor in ensuring the self-determination of the other peoples and population groups in South Africa;
  2. (2) that the self-determination of other peoples and population groups is a precondition for the maintenance of White self-determination; and
  3. (3) that White self-determination and the self-determination of the other peoples and population groups can only be ensured by acknowledging the existence of groups and using the group as the basis for the constitutional development of the country.”

Mr Speaker, I listened very attentively to the two previous speakers and what struck me was that both speakers were totally confused about the use of concepts. As the hon member for Mossel Bay rightly indicated, the hon member for Waterberg was completely confused about the concept “White”, the concept “nationhood” (“volkskap”) and about the concept “ethnic identity”. As the hon member for Mossel Bay indicated, the Whites are not a people as such. They never have been, and in terms of any definition of what “nationhood” entails, they never will be.

Secondly, as far as cultural identity is concerned, surely the hon member for Waterberg is aware that there are major cultural differences between the Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking population groups in South Africa. The cultural identities of these two groups are different, but we do not base the political system for Whites on the difference in cultural identity. As we would all admit, if we are honest, the Coloureds have no separate cultural identity, nor are they a separate people. Surely that is very clear. How the CP can therefore try to justify their policy on a rational basis is beyond me.

The hon member for Mossel Bay made the same mistake. He attacked the CP about the incorrect use of terms, but he himself spoke of multinationalism (“veelvolkig-heid”) as the basis of the new constitutional system. I ask him once again: If it is multinationalism, why is no distinction made between English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking people? [Interjections.] He said the basis of this policy was multinationalism. If that is the basis, why is no distinction made between Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking people? If that is the basis, why do they deal with the Coloureds as though they are a separate people in terms of the constitutional dispensation? How the hon member for Mossel Bay—I address this to the Government in general as well—can reconcile self-determination for one group with the retention of self-determination for all the other groups, I do not know. If that is the premise, it is no different in essence from what the hon member for Waterberg said. The only respect in which it differs, is the method whereby it can be achieved. I shall come back to the hon member for Mossel Bay at a later stage.

Apart from the concept “White” in the motion of the hon member for Waterberg, there are two other concepts that fundamentally affect the problems of our situation and which were used by both the previous hon speakers, viz the concept “self-determination” and the concept “separate development”. Let us dwell for a moment on the question of the right of self-determination. I believe hon members would concede that the right of self-determination could basically assume three forms. Firstly, there is the right of political self-determination, in other words, when a people, or whatever, has complete exclusive self-determination over itself. The second is cultural self-determination and the third is economic self-determination. Cultural self-determination can be maintained regardless of the political system. Political self-determination and economic self-determination are therefore not essential to the maintenance of the cultural self-determination of a people. In fact, even if the political system should be hostile towards a people it could nevertheless act as an incentive for that people to retain and extend its cultural heritage further. That is very clear. The Afrikaner has furnished sufficient proof of this. It is a great pity that the hon member for Waterberg does not tell us what kind of self-determination he has in mind when he uses that term. I shall come back to that later, however.

I wish to make the basic statement that the exclusive right of self-determination of a group, a people, or whatever, can never be maintained in a geographic area in which other groups also reside permanently other than in a system of political domination. If one of the groups wants exclusive right of self-determination, it can only exercise that right of self-determination at the expense of the political rights of the other people living in that geographic area. It is as simple as that. Now hon members of the CP, like the NP has done before, are coming forward and saying that they are speaking about separate areas, about special ordering. Let us examine this, for even if we should accept this theory, we must ask, in the final instance, whether it is an attainable concept in South Africa. Let us forget about being verbose. The question is simply whether it is an attainable concept in South Africa. If various groups are living in an area permanently, there can be no exclusive right of self-determination for only one group in that area.

Now let us try to determine whether it is possible for us in South Africa to create a situation in which people of only one group can live in one geographic area. This could only be achieved in four ways. One of these is agreed partition, where the groups decide that they cannot live together in the same political context and that consequently they want to separate. If this is partition—and I refer here, amongst other things, to the poor handling of this concept in a previous report of the President’s Council—it entails an agreement between the groups concerned. If the hon members of the CP were to tell me that they are prepared to agree jointly with the Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Black people on how we should divide up the country, it is an acceptable concept, morally and otherwise. Then we must go back to Paul Kruger’s old recipe, however. When two brothers could not agree on how to divide up a farm, Paul Kruger told the eldest brother: “You divide up the farm” and to the youngest brother he said: “You choose.” If we want to bring about partition in South Africa in that way, it is a possible beginning, morally speaking, but not otherwise, for example, if we were to decide: “That is your territory; I shall decide which is mine.”

Then there is the second way, viz that of voluntary removal; when people move voluntarily due to circumstances, ie if we Whites could persuade the other groups to move voluntarily. We can forget about such a possibility, however, since we have repeatedly seen that the only removals that are possible in South Africa are forced removals. That, then, is the third possibility; the one in which we say to the other groups: “We compel you to go where we put you.”

The fourth possibility is when the group that wants self-determination isolates itself; in other words, when that group goes to an uninhabited area and says: “I am the boss here.” That, in essence, is what the Voortrekkers did in 1836. They were unable to overthrow the government in the Cape, and decided to move away and to seek an area where they could exercise their right of political self-determination. That is a possibility. [Interjections.] If the CP were to tell me that the people they wish to take along with them as part of their people, want to move away—heaven alone knows where to—to their own independent area with the right of political self-determination, I wish them well. I may even be prepared to make a financial contribution! [Interjections.]

Let us now look at the facts of the demographic situation. At present our population consists of 4,5 million Whites, 2,5 million Coloureds, 750 000 Asians and 16 million Black people. However, let us look at the circumstances that will prevail in the year 2000. Instead of having a process in terms of which people are going to drift further apart, there is going to be increased intertwining by mere virtue of demographic facts. We know that in the year 2000 there are going to be between 5,1 million and 6,9 million Whites; between 3 million and 4,9 million Coloureds; between 1,2 million and 1,4 million Asians, and between 28 million and 37 million Black people. How can we explain away these facts? Surely it is completely unthinkable. Let us now look at how the people are distributed—and I shall now leave the future at that, since I do not wish to burden this House with facts. Let me immediately add that to use group areas as a basis for a political dispensation, is the most foolish thing under the sun. Would hon members of the CP be satisfied if, for example, the Coloureds governed the country and told the Whites: “In terms of our policy of special ordering, you have your own group areas; therefore you need not participate in a central Parliament.” Surely that is totally absurd, Mr Speaker.

However, let us look at the facts now. The Whites are not in the majority position in any of these development regions. Of the approximately 1,8 million people in the Cape Peninsula, 570 000 are White, 1 million are Coloured and 200 000 are Blacks. Of a total number of 239 000 inhabitants in the Cape winter rainfall region, there are 58 000 Whites, 163 000 Coloureds and 18 000 Blacks. There are 193 000 Whites, 4 000 Coloureds and 218 000 Blacks in the rural areas in the Orange Free State—and this only includes certain areas; not all the regions. We could consider every region separately in this way. My statement is even substantiated by the relevant regions in the Transvaal. As an example I refer to the Wit-bank/Middelburg area, where 65 000 Whites, 4 000 Coloureds, 1 500 Asians and 184 000 Blacks live. In the Bethal/Ermelo area there are 51 000 Whites, 2 000 Coloureds, 2 500 Asians and 322 000 Blacks. In the Johannesburg/Randburg area the situation is as follows: Of a total number of 1,75 million inhabitants, 540 000 are Whites, 105 000 are Coloureds, 48 000 are Asians and one million are Blacks. Consequently, when one takes note of the real demographic distribution across the entire country, it is clear that even to speak of a policy of spacial ordering—whatever that means—is the biggest lot of nonsense under the sun. When I say that, I am counting my words, Mr Speaker.

When we take further note of the process of urbanization, the following data are important. As we know, of a total of almost 13 million city dwellers in South Africa—that is the figure for 1980—approximately 6,5 million are Blacks, 743 000 are Asians, just over two million are Coloureds and more than four million are Whites. Let us take a further look at what we can expect by the year 2000. At that stage, not even half of the Black population will be urbanized. Approximately five million Whites will be urbanized; ie approximately 93% of the White population, as opposed to approximately three million Coloureds—81%—approximately 1 124 000 Asians—98%—and 15 million Blacks. By the year 2000 a minimum number of 15 million Blacks will be living incities in South Africa. Now I ask you what logical sense is there in speaking about a geographic unravelling of all these groups. Surely it is totally absurd.

This brings me to the next concept, ie the concept of the right of economic self-determination. I listened attentively to the hon member for Waterberg when he spoke about economic interdependence. The position, however, does not entail one country being independent of another. When we speak about economic self-sufficiency in South Africa, it only has to do with the following question. To what extent are the non-Whites in South Africa essential to the continued existence of the South African economy? It has nothing to do with the mutual dependence of one country on another.

The hon member for Waterberg said—and I assume he had the right to say so—that it would be meaningless to speak of the right of political self-determination when people find themselves in a position of economic servitude, to use the term that has previously been used frequently in our national life. Now it is true that we in South Africa are so dependent on one another that the South African economy cannot exist—under any circumstances whatsoever—without all the groups, White, Coloured, Asian and Black, being included in the same economic system. We can do what we like, but we shall never be able to change that situation. We shall never be able to create a situation in South Africa in which the Whites alone are going to be able to keep our economy on its feet by means of their own work force. Such a policy is therefore economically unattainable in South Africa in this regard as well. In this regard I just want to mention some data. Let us examine the situation in respect of occupational groups. I just want to mention a few groups in this regard. Already 16% of those in clerical occupations in South Africa are Blacks. 62,8% of the workers in our transport industry, and 60% of the workers in our service industries are Blacks. As far as ordinary labourers are concerned, the figure is 86,9%—and I have excluded agriculture and fisheries.

If we consider other economic sectors we find that 80% of the workers in the agricultural industry are Black. In the mining industry the figure is 87%, in the manufacturing industry, 53%, electricity and water supply, 53%, the construction industry, 57%, trade, 53%, transport, 42%, finance, 18%, and the service industries 63,5%. Therefore it is totally inconceivable that we could ever create a situation in which we could become less dependent on the work force of the other groups. All projections indicate that the White population is not going to be able to meet the increasing demands our economy is going to make. It is impossible.

Where do all these facts leave us? The fact remains that despite everything we say, and despite all the policies being advocated, it is totally impossible to speak in terms of the right of economic self-determination. If partition is not possible, and if voluntary removal is not going to take place, if, for various reasons, forced removals are not possible, and if geographic self-isolation is not possible, what are we to do about it? Then we have a situation to accept, and that is the permanent presence in the same geographic area of a multiplicity of people and groups. If we accept that, I want to reiterate that we cannot continue with a policy of the right of self-determination which is meant for one group alone. I also want to tell the Government that I regard it as a tragedy that in 1984 we have come up with a constitution which excluded those Blacks living permanently in this geographic area from participating in that constitution, and not only temporarily, but permanently, since Blacks cannot be accommodated in that constitution. It is totally impossible. I also want to say that I have always believed in the integrity of the NRP, but it is in this regard that Pinetown was decisive. Despite their stated policy the NRP was prepared to accept a constitution which excludes Blacks permanently, and the hon the Prime Minister and every member of the Cabinet have clearly indicated that there can be no fourth Chamber for Blacks. I am completely dumbfounded by that. Personally, I have always thought that the NRP had a measure of political integrity. I am saying this in terms of their policy of local option, when the NRP Provincial Council of Natal told the Durban City Council when they exercised local option that they were not permitted to do so. How anyone can believe that the NRP has a place in our politics, I do not know.

In conclusion I want to say just this. In the light of the facts I have mentioned the policy of the CP entails only fine words and the exploitation of prejudices. It cannot be presented as a rational policy. The Government’s policy, as far as the entrenched Black man in the Republic is concerned in particular, is completely inadequate and it can only lead to an increase in the potential for conflict in South Africa. Under these circumstances I should like to move the following further amendment to the motion of the hon member for Waterberg:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House declares its conviction that the peaceful continued existence of all the groups in South Africa can only be ensured by a constitutional dispensation which provides for participation by all the groups in the political decision-making process without any domination of one group by another.”.

Mr Speaker, the hon member Prof Olivier made several statements. I want to dwell on two of his statements, statements which I think formed the crux of his argument.

The first statement I want to react to, is his statement that he is troubled by the fact that the Black people outside the national and independent states are not being included in the new constitution we passed last year. But at the same time the hon the Minister conceded to the hon member that it would be impossible to include the Black people under the new constitution. The structure of the new constitution does not make provision for that. This matter was debated at length last year. We admitted time and again that we realized this, but that it was not our intention to leave the Black people totally helpless in the political sphere. As a matter of fact, their political position is at present the subject of the most exhaustive investigation possible. We shall therefore have further opportunities to debate this matter in future.

The hon member also argued that exclusive self-determination within one territory is not possible without the oppression of other groups. This statement by the hon member is acceptable to us; it is also acceptable to the CP. I am certain of that, because this is in fact the reason why they say if this were to be the case the Coloureds should also be given their own territory, precisely as a result of the dilemma of the hon member Prof Olivier. We on this side, however, have another solution to that dilemma and we shall come to that later. I am certain that the hon the Minister will also go into it. I shall return in a moment to the other points the hon member Prof Olivier made.

For the moment I should like to confine myself to the hon member who introduced this motion, because that is in fact what this debate is all about. Last year the hon member for Waterberg also introduced a motion here, a motion which dealt more or less with the same subject. On that occasion he made a speech which was more or less the same as the speech he made today. As a matter of fact, we find some of the paragraphs in that speech recurring in the speech he made today. There is nevertheless an important difference between the motion he introduced here last year and the motion he introduced today. Both motions have a specific object and they also contain the means of attaining that object. Last year the object of his motion was sound relations among peoples and the maintenance of the principle of self-determination for peoples. It was therefore a fairly general objective. This year, however, the hon member limited his objective. This year it was concerned only with the right of self-determination of the Whites, compared with the right of self-determination of all peoples in his motion last year. In his motion today the right of self-determination of the Whites came into prominence. This is because the CP is in the process of swallowing up the HNP, a tendency which we find is becoming increasingly noticeable.

As far as the formulation of the means to achieve this object is concerned, there is also an interesting difference between the two motions. Last year the method was separate political, social and other structures in separate areas. In today’s motion the method was stated in slightly more general terms. He merely referred to “separate development”. He no longer specified in detail how this was to be done; he merely referred vaguely to “separate development”. Sir, this is interesting, because one expects a new political party to spell out its policy in greater detail as time goes by. Here we have the opposite process, however. Last year they said the means were separate political, social and economic structures in separate areas, but this year they deviated from that. I have to correct myself, because they referred only to separate political and social structures and not to separate economic structures as well. This year they are pursuing a more general, a more abstract concept. Why? Because in the course of last year they began to experience an increasing number of setbacks, inter alia in connection with the idea of separate areas for each group.

The hon member Prof Olivier has again indicated what the problem with that concept of separate areas is. This inability of the CP to come forward with clear, comprehensible, political alternatives which one can discuss, indicated a bankruptcy in regard to policy in that party because we have had nothing more for consideration from the CP than we had last year. Nothing emerged.


What does Soutpansberg look like to you?


That is an interesting remark, because what is happening now as a result of this bankruptcy in regard to policy in the CP? That is why they are resorting to an ever greater extent to vague statements. They are resorting to words which may be interpreted in several ways. They are doing this on the one hand and on the other hand they are engaged in a kind of scavenging politics. What they are doing in this regard is to try their best to rake up the past. They hope that the stench of old scandals will distract the attention of the voters from their own bankruptcy. They are using this stench as a kind of smokescreen so that the voters do not realize what is really going on.

I want to illustrate this statement, because in the process of consorting with these vague concepts, they are doing so quite recklessly. By this time we are all well aware of the reckless way in which the CP uses such cardinal concepts as “people” and “nation”, for example. We saw this again this morning. The hon member for Waterberg said a people did not have self-determination unless it had its own parliament. Now I want to ask whether the Afrikaners are a people. Do the Afrikaners have their own parliament? If this is not the case, is the CP going to endeavour to establish a parliament of their own for the Afrikaner people and, if not, why not? That is how they trifle with the concept of “people”. At one stage the Afrikaners are a people and at another stage “people” is a cultural concept, but when it suits them, all the Whites together are a people. They sometimes refer to the Coloureds as a people and at other times they simply refer to all kinds of other groups as peoples. This is only one example.

I should like to mention another example of this loose and ambiguous, this deliberately ambiguous use of specific concepts. In this connection I want to get back to the concept of “self-determination”. I want to consider what the hon member for Waterberg said last year to motivate a motion on self-determination. In the first place he pledged his party to a policy of fairness. He said that they were going to act justly. They said that by means of self-determination for the Whites and self-determination for the other peoples they would attain justice. This sounds fine: The scales of justice—on the one side self-determination for one’s own group and on the other side self-determination for the other groups. These two ideas are in balance and that is why there is justice. This is more or less the idea, but this morning we again heard in what terms the hon member for Waterberg demands self-determination for the Whites. The Whites must have their own parliament, they must have their own this and they must have their own that. Last year he put it as follows, and I am quoting from Hansard, 18 February 1983, col 1261:

The Whites will only be able to maintain their identity and their own freedom if they, exercise political control over that territory which is the heartland and area of jurisdiction of the Whites.

In other words, the right of self-determination of the Whites must also be full and equal in every sense. It has to be absolute self-determination. No other person or body may have any say over any facet of the existence of the Whites. This is how self-determination for the Whites is seen. This is how they see it.

However, they must also arrive at the other side of this comparison and in his speech of last year he also stated his idea of a Coloured homeland. He alleged that a Coloured homeland need not necessarily be a single piece of land, but a few different things. He also said that it was not necessary for all the Coloureds to live in that homeland. He referred to the examples of Black states to confirm this. He referred to Bophuthatswana and he said that Bophuthatswana consisted of various parts. He asked why the Coloured homeland could not also consist of various parts. He also referred to Qwaqwa. He maintained that Qwaqwa was not very large and that many people from Qwaqwa lived outside that area. He therefore drew this comparison to indicate that if the Coloured homeland is not perfect, the Black states are not perfect either. However, he had the following to say about Qwaqwa (Friday, 18 February 1983, col 1269):

To those people the Government says: You can have a State of your own. This they have; it is a self-governing state. The Government has made it a self-governing state, and I do not believe that the Government can or wants to turn around and take back the self-determination of those people.

In other words, he was referring to the present Qwaqwa, a self-governing state, and said that the Government did not want to take away the self-determination of those people. In other words, according to the hon member for Waterberg, Qwaqwa already has self-determination. We all know what the present situation in Qwaqwa is, and it is in shrill contrast with what he said because he said that such self-determination was good enough for Qwaqwa in terms of our policy. Why should it not also be good enough for the Coloureds? But, Mr Speaker, this does not ring true, because on the one hand they are demanding full and equal self-determination for the Whites, but for the Coloureds this self-determination is empty and hollow as it is for some Black states, for example that of Qwaqwa at the moment. In other words, these scale are definitely not balanced. What we have here, is an illusion.

It is a game which is being played to mislead us in the sense that they are saying: Justice and self-determination for me and self-determination for the others. Self-determination for me means something, but self-determination for the others means something else. The self-determination of the Whites may not be tampered with in any way, but the self-determination of the others may not interfere with the self-determination of the Whites in any way. This is how they are reasoning. If the hon member for Rissik did not hear that properly, he can go and look it up in Hansard. This is how the definition of community of property reads: What is yours is mine, but what is mine is also mine. It sounds wonderful when one says it fast enough and one can bluff someone else by saying it, but not for long.

In conclusion I want to say that if one penetrates beyond the vague way in which the CP consorts with these concepts, one eventually notices the bankruptcy in regard to policy of that side, which cannot be tolerated for much longer. We shall expose it, from here right up to Soutpansberg.

Mnr W V RAW:

Mr Speaker, in the few minutes at my disposal it will not be possible to deal with all the arguments in detail. However, we have the interesting situation where there is a motion and two amendments before the House, all so vaguely worded that almost anyone can agree with them by putting their own interpretation on them.

The hon member prof Olivier has moved a typical “motherlove is good” type of amendment. It says nothing. He managed to talk for 20 minutes without giving one indication of what the solution was. He spent the 20 minutes saying what you could not have and what was impossible, but he did not say what the solution was. He ended up—and I will not waste my time on it but simply treat it with contempt—with two completely false statements about the NRP.

The hon member for Waterberg made it clear what his intention was. By the use of the term “separate development” he made it clear that he was referring to old-style total apartheid, in other words geographic separation, independent States for other race groups and so-called White self-determination as an absolute concept. What he is doing is simply trying to revive and re-establish a policy which was seen to have failed as long ago as the seventies and which had in fact brought South Africa to the brink of disaster. That was the very policy which brought South Africa to a situation of internal conflict and external contempt and the abhorrence of the world for the policies of our country. Yet that hon member wants to revive it.

It was in the seventies—during the Vorster era—that South Africa started to realize that this policy could not work. It was in that era that détente, the 1977 constitution and changes in the sports policy took place. Slowly South Africa began to realize that we could not have absolute separation, and very gradually and hesitantly we have moved forward step by step to the point where we now have a new constitution. I want to emphasize that the new constitution is a starting point and not the end of the road of constitutional development. In the end White security and White self-determination can only be achieved if certain realities are accepted and certain key fundamental principles are followed. The reality which must be accepted is that where different race groups live in one geographic area, albeit in separate group areas, those groups are interdependent, and that none can survive in isolation on their own.

The first key principle which has to be followed is the accommodation of pluralism, the recognition not only of the existence of groups, but the accommodation within the political structure of those groups as groups. In other words, there must be a group-political power base from which each group can control its own intimate affairs.

Thirdly there is the key principle the Government accepts but pays lip service to, namely the participation by every citizen at every level of authority which has jurisdiction over him. [Interjections.] I say that, while the principle may be accept, it has not been implemented yet. It is now being implemented for Whites, Coloureds and Asians, but it has not yet been implemented for Black South African citizens. That is why I say that, while it has been accepted in principle, it has not yet been implemented.

The next principle is that there can be no domination of one group over other groups, or of a combination of groups over others. The next is the devolution of power to the lowest possible level. The next is to give to those levels the local option to decide on their local affairs to the maximum extent. I want to say that that includes the right of the voters in an area to determine that local option. That is where the hon member Professor Olivier goes hopelessly astray. We do not allow a little power clique, without the backing of the voters who put them into office, to determine local option. [Interjections.]

The principles I have listed are the aims and principles of the NRP. [Interjections.] What Pinetown did was not what South Africa did to the PFP when it rejected them and the CP together by a two-thirds majority. It rejected those parties together by a two-thirds majority. [Interjections.] We failed to win Pinetown, but we did not lose it. [Interjections.] It was a PFP seat with a majority of 2 200. They held it by 880 votes. So we did not lose a seat. They retained a seat. We did not lose it: We lost the election. However, we were not rejected in the referendum by 2:1 as the PFP and the CP together were. Now both of them come here with motions which are in conflict with the decision of two thirds of the White voters of this country.

Because the principles I have outlined and the reality of life in South Africa are the only guarantee of security and self-determination for groups in South Africa, it is essential that this party continue to propagate them, to sell them to South Africa and to influence the course of future developments as we have influenced it over the last year particularly. That rabble party, the PFP, come with “motherlove is good” and other slogans but give no solutions. The principles I have mentioned are the only principles which can give South Africa a secure and happy future. We will continue to propagate these principles and in the end we will be proved to have been the party which was right and which gave South Africa the right direction and the right leadership.


Mr Speaker, I just wish to dwell for a moment on the hon member Prof Olivier. It is very clear from the amendment of the PFP that they believe that a Black majority group will eventually have control in South Africa.




Yes. The only question the PFP can reply to, is what Blacks it will be within the Black community who will eventually govern South Africa.

Secondly, I want to tell the hon member that as far as the concepts “people”, “nation”, etc are concerned, one must bear in mind that in the political debate we very often use the term “people” (“volk”) in the sense that it is used in the Afrikaans version of our daily prayer here, viz:

… tot bevordering van die belange van ons land en volk wat U aan ons … toe vertrou het.

I want to say to the hon member that the term “people” is also used in this way in the political debate. I think the hon member should just take cognizance of that.

In fact, the hon member for Helderkruin reacted a year late to the motion of the hon member for Waterberg. Today he concentrated more on last year’s motion. Today there was a new motion before this House, and we shall perhaps have to wait until next year to hear the hon member’s contribution on today’s motion. [Interjections.] Nevertheless I enjoyed listening to the hon member. We Van der Merwes stand together.

it is an honour to make a modest contribution in support of the motion of the hon the leader of the CP, a man who during the early fifties, particularly in the religious and cultural sphere as a newspaper editor, author and political leader, resolutely propagated and defended against friend, enemy and opponent, the content, essence and meaning of the right of self-determination of his people. In the fifties, sixties and seventies, together with leaders such as Dr H F Verwoerd, Dr Karl Gericke, Dr Koot Vorster and Dr Piet Meyer and others, he made it his task to defend the right of self-determination of his people in this regard. Now, in the eighties, he is again pre-eminently the man who is at the forefront of the struggle for the right of self-determination of his people and the Whites. Motions such as this one, together with other intensive discussions and documents, will again in our day have to bring about clarity with regard to the meaning of the terms and concepts that we use. The enemies of the history of ethnicity and of the ideal of ethnicity have with great skill succeeded over the past number of years in sowing confusion, uncertainty and doubt. The liberals have brought about a crisis in direction, and it will be the task of the conservatives to provide new direction in the midst of the crisis.

Many people have written about this recently. A person like Prof Booysen has written very interestingly about the definition of self-determination with reference to South Africa. Then, too, there is an interesting work by D Ronen, entitled The Quest for Self-determination, and others. In the South African terminology self-determination has also been called “sovereignty”, “freedom”, “independence” and quite probably several other terms as well. I shall describe self-determination briefly as the right to have full control over every facet of one’s lifestyle within one’s fatherland. If one does not have that or has only a part of it, then one must always strive to achieve that right of self-determination of every facet of one’s lifestyle. When one has achieved that, the preservation of self-determination is a matter for eternal watchfulness and often it is even necessary to fight to retain it. Self-determination presumes that one attaches meaning, value and significance to what one wants to determine and control, and that one will convey that meaning to newcomers within one’s ethnic community. In other words, it is really nationalism which one passes on like a burning flame from one generation to the next by the process of enculturation. Self-determination is no longer self-determination if it is subject to the right of veto, to the decision or the approval of others. Self-determination is not a matter of own affairs that are subordinated to matters of common concern which have to be shared with other peoples and groups. Self-determination only covers own affairs, and to deal with one’s own affairs in this way does not signify selfishness, injustice or unfairness towards others. What is true is that when one has self-determination over others and when one seeks to acquire control of the self-determination of others, that demand becomes an immoral one. If one has acquired self-determination over others, in whatever way, the honourable way is to renounce that control in an orderly, correct and fair way. Therefore it is right to demand one’s self-determination if one has lost it or if the leaders of a certain generation have given it away or renounced it. A new generation need not and ought not condone the blunders of the leaders of the previous generation.

Long before the establishment of the NP at the beginning of this century, there were the Vryburgers, the farmers of the Eastern Frontier, the Voortrekkers and rebels from the Cape and Natal who, together with their brothers from the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, fought, struggled and made sacrifices for this right of self-determination. After all, the right of self-determination of the Whites has been threatened before; it has in the past been taken away from us by conquest, and it was only in this century that we became so strong as to recover it almost entirely. However, in the struggle for this right of self-determination we always recognized the borders of the fatherlands of others, as well as their right of self-determination. Therefore our right of self-determination was never imperialist, and where, in acquiring our own right of self-determination, we also acquired the right of self-determination of others, we adopted a policy of liberation as far as they were concerned.

To have the right of self-determination also does not mean that one cannot have friends and neighbours with whom one may conclude agreements and treaties and hold discussions. Good neighbourliness and healthy dialogue is not in conflict with the right of self-determination, but will only be assured if the right of self-determination of peoples is respected. The Government is also playing with the concept of “right of self-determination”. However, they use it to placate and sooth the credulous. The Government has lost the value and sense of the true right of self-determination of the Whites in South Africa. By way of a concealed political policy, by way of so-called own affairs and by using the term “right to self-determination”, they are obscuring what they are really aiming at, and that is that the White nation in South Africa must gradually disappear and merge with a Brown and an Indian nation in order, eventually, to form part of a great Black Southern African nation. All they say, is that they will try to keep this new nation civilized and Christian. However, under the present NP, self-determination will increasingly disappear into the burning cauldron of general affairs, a joint say and joint responsibility. Accordingly I wish to ask the governing party whether the right of self-determination that they want to give the Whites in the new political dispensation is equal in quality, essence and meaning to the right of self-determination they have given to Venda, Ciskei and other independent Black states. Is the right of self-determination that the Whites will have in the new dispensation, equal in essence and in quality to that right of self-determination they are prepared to give to Qwaqwa or kwaZulu, or is it equal to the right of self-determination that the British Government gave to Swaziland and Lesotho?

From an early stage we have tried to maintain our identity, with all that that involves, and together with that, our right of self-determination, by way of the policy of separate development. Right from the outset that was the policy in terms of which the Whites of South Africa tried to maintain their own identity and their own self-determination. Specifically after they had come into contact with other race groups in South Africa, with other population groups, they followed the policy of separate development in order to maintain their identity, and in doing so they also, in contrast to many other Whites elsewhere in the world, did not assail the right of self-determination of other peoples.

There are several factors that are essential to self-determination. Due to a lack of time I cannot elaborate on this any further. However, I wish to make the statement that the enemies of separate development—and nowadays it is said that a caricature is being made of separate development—have indeed made a caricature of separate development. However, they made a caricature of it because they sought to destroy the principles and the essence and the true character of separate development. The Government and the NP contend that the caricature of separate development, the caricature of apartheid, is dead. However, I wish to put it to them that that caricature is not dead. Do they think that the propaganda machine against ethnicity in South Africa will come to a halt? That caricature does exist in the interpretation the PFP gives it and in the interpretation given to it by the world at large. My problem with the NP, when they are so quick to talk about the caricature of apartheid being dead, is that as far as I am concerned, that caricature lives on. The problem of the NP is that in its attacks on and rejection of apartheid or separate development, it is in fact rejecting the essence for which apart heid or separate development stood from the outset. I said yesterday—and I want to do so again today—that thinkers in the NP are propagating certain dangerous things. Here I have in mind for example Prof Piet Cillié, who in a certain document of his that we have taken cognisance of, advances the argument that ethnicity in South Africa must disappear. According to him ethnicity must disappear, or we shall have a situation similar to that in Ireland, in which divisions among people are in fact the cause of tension and conflict. Therefore I believe that for the sake of the continued existence of the Whites in Southern Africa—that continued existence for the sake of which the CP split off from the NP—and for the sake of the principles involved, we shall continue with the policy of separate development. Based on that policy we do not only wish to create a future for our own nationals, we also want to ensure, in terms of that policy alone, continued existence for the Brown man, the Indian and every Black people in South Africa. In this self-determination it may be extremely difficult to achieve this ideal in practice. Last but not least, however, I want to point out that it is easier for the present generation—the present generation of Whites in South Africa—to contribute towards separate development on their own territory for the Brown people and for the Indians, than it was when Dr D F Malan and his contemporaries were faced with a far greater problem as far as the Black people were concerned.

Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.

Afternoon Sitting


Mr Speaker, the Free State produced a very good result in the referendum on 2 November. I do not want to say that this was achieved despite the hon member for Rissik, who acts as the leader of the rightist radical party in the Free State. In fact, it was thanks to the hon member for Rissik. He told us that the caricature of apartheid in South Africa is alive, if I heard him correctly. He is quite right. The caricature of apartheid in South Africa is alive, and that hon member personifies the caricature of apartheid. The caricature of apartheid lives in the heart of the hon member for Rissik, and that is why he is so valuable to us in the Free State.

More than a year ago I attended a number of meetings of the hon member for Waterberg in succession to find out precisely what the message is he wants to convey to the voters. After having listened to him again after a year, he is still indulging in the same meaningless oratorical nonsense as then. What he says is neither here nor there. One never knows where one stands.

Whilst I was listening to the debate, it became clear to me that there are two concepts that have cropped up in this debate, viz the concepts of self-determination and separate development. What do we understand by those concepts? When one discusses these concepts one has to have certain basic premises. The first is that we in South Africa are dealing with an extremely heterogeneous and complicated population composition. Every party in this House concedes that, and I think the CP have also conceded that today, although I am sometimes inclined to think that the hon member for Rissik only notices the Whites. It is a premise, however. It should also be a basis for a constitutional development process. Of course, that is something the PFP do not readily wish to admit—that ethnicity and its existence should serve as a basis for constitutional development in South Africa.

Another very important basic premise ought to be that all these different groups of peoples and population groups should have maximum self-determination. What is also important, is that they should have equal self-determination. I am afraid that the rightist radical party does not agree with this. They grant the Whites self-determination, they claim it for the Whites. They stand on platforms and say: We do not deny anyone what we claim for ourselves. When they leave those platforms they have salved their consciences and then they are satisfied. They even recognize the possibility of the self-determination of all population groups but today the hon leader of the rightist radical party spoke about parallel self-determination. It is the first time I have ever heard of this concept. They do not acknowledge co-determination, however, they do not acknowledge the existence of co-determination in South Africa. To them, co-determination means White determination. The Whites will have to take the decisions that affect all of us and they alone will have to take responsibility for that.

The hon member for Rissik has spelt out clearly in the debates over the past week or two that as far as education is concerned he acknowledges the right of self-determination of different population groups, but the Whites alone must be responsible for those matters affecting all of us. This also comes to the fore in their immigration policy concerning the Indians. They can have self-determination, but they may not have self-determination over the immigration policy. Ultimately, those hon members will take final responsibility for that.

As far as separate development is concerned, they advocate partition—spacial partition, the Hexania syndrome. Once one has placed people in their own homeland, all one’s problems are solved. They also always use the example of Qwaqwa, as though all the problems in this regard in the Free State will be solved once Qwaqwa has obtained independence as a national state. I have never encountered such naivety, and this idea goes a great deal further in respect of the Coloureds in this phantom homeland of theirs, Hexania.

What is important in South Africa, is not the presence of different population groups. What is important in South Africa is the potential for conflict which could arise. This is what we have to deal with. We should not wish people away in South Africa. We must ward off conflict in South Africa, and only then can we ensure peace. If the rightist radical party enjoys fanning this conflict further, however, and plays right into the hands of the ANC, let them do so. Let them establish their “Boetiebond” at the cultural level … [Interjections.] … or even continue causing division and conflict in the religious sphere. If they enjoy it, let them continue.

We live in Southern Africa. We do not intend running away from realities here. We do not intend running away from our responsibilities. We belong to Africa and we have a God-given calling in Africa, and in South Africa in particular. We shall fulfil that calling to the best of our ability, and we shall enter the future with confidence.


Mr Speaker, in his speech the hon member Dr Odendaal very clearly intimated to us that he had lost heart about the future of South Africa. If the world, if circumstances, require us to capitulate, well that it what we must do then. Let me tell the hon member that the CP and its members are not prepared to capitulate. We believe that the Whites have a place here at the southern tip of Africa and that they are going to fight for what is their own, and also for their right to self-determination here on the southern tip of Africa.

The hon member Dr Odendaal said that we did not begrudge others what we demanded for ourselves. He said that the CP climbed onto platforms and said that we did not begrudge other peoples what we demanded for ourselves. He was quite right in saying that that is what we say. We demand for the Whites, here on the southern tip of Africa, room in which to decide for themselves on every facet of their life and in which to govern themselves. And in doing so, we do not begrudge it to the Sotho, the Zulu, the Tswana, the Venda and every other Black people, and not to the Coloureds and the Indians either.

The hon member Dr Odendaal spoke of right-wing radicals. When that hon member speaks about right-wing radicals, he is referring to people who believe in separate development, people who do not begrudge the Whites a place, room, here on the southern tip of Africa, but who do not begrudge it to the Coloureds, the Indians and the Black peoples either. The hon member refers to those people as right-wing radicals. The hon member also says that we in the CP say that if Qwaqwa were to become independent, their problems would be solved.

As far as my knowledge goes, both the CP and the NP believe that the various Black peoples should be led to fully-fledged self-determination within their own fatherlands. Does the hon member still believe in that?


Of course.


Why, then, does he say we are right-wing radicals for believing in that? Is that fair, just and Christian for the people of Qwaqwa to be led to self-determination? [Interjections.] Let that hon member run away if he wants to. If the CP says it believes in separate development when it comes to the Black people, the hon member says he agrees with us, but if we say the same in regard to the Coloureds and the Indians, he says we are right-wing radicals.


You suffer from the Hexania syndrome.


The hon member for Helderkruin tried to spell it out for us that within the multiracial new dispensation that is to be established, the right to self-determination of the Whites could also be maintained. In this small booklet The Constitution, 1983, in a Nutshell the hon member tried to explain to the electorate that it was really not all that much of a mix-up. In it he answers the question: ‘Is the constitution a recipe for multiracialism?’ Then we get the heading: “Elke eier ’n roereier?” He then says very philosophically:

’n Eier in sy dop bevat wit sowel as geel. Dit is een eier. Daar is wit en geel in.

Then he asks the question: “Is dit nou ’n roereier?” He then compares this egg to the constitution. That is what it is all about. He says that in this constitution there are Whites, Coloureds and Indians in one Parliament. The hon member says this constitution is like an egg; he says it has a shell, and in that shell there is the white of the egg and the yolk. He says the white of the egg remains white and the yolk remains yellow. He does not say that for such an egg to bring forth anything one has to put it under a turkey, an ostrich or something else to hatch. [Interjections.] When that egg, of which the hon member spoke, has hatched, what emerges is some or other creature, a bird or whatever. [Interjections.] I hope that the hon members who are now laughing such a lot will still be laughing when the basilisk, which is to hatch from this constitution, is rammed down their throats. I hope they will still be laughing then. [Interjections.]


Order! Hon members must give the hon member an opportunity to put his case.


Once the hon member for Helderkruin’s egg has hatched, what we will have will be one bird with one digestive tract and one vascular system. There will, however, only be one bird, even though it has two wings and two legs. [Interjections.] That is what lies ahead for South Africa. Then the hon member for Mossel Bay comes along and says that the egg-white in that egg, representing the Whites, will remain white. Once that egg has hatched, however, it has lost its identity. He is subjecting the future of South Africa, and the right to self-determination on the part of the White man, to a loss of identity by virtue of allowing himself to merge into one nation of White, Brown and Yellow.


One man, one bird! [Interjections.]




I therefore want to tell you that I believe that when the NP, the governing party, speaks of self-determination, it is the same self-determination as that to which the hon the Minister of National Education is referring when he says that “the policy on which this Government’s self-determination is based is a combination of self-determination in regard to own affairs, joint self-determination, co-responsibility and a joint say—call it what you will—in matters of common concern.” In that party’s vocabulary there is no longer anything like White self-determination to be found. [Interjections.]




If the governing party says it guarantees the right to self-determination of the Whites, let me ask this question: Is the White’s self-determination in the new constitutional dispensation equal in value and in essence to that of present-day self-determination? I want the hon member to tell us that. I want to ask the hon member for Mossel Bay: Is their self-determination the same? Is the self-determination of the Whites in the new dispensation equal in value and in essence to present-day self-determination? [Interjections.] The hon member for Mossel Bay, who is very fond of making interjections, has nothing to say now.

*Dr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay):

But I told you I had finished speaking. [Interjections.]


At a later stage I shall be coming to what the hon member for Kimberley South said to people behind closed doors during the referendum campaign.

I should like to weigh up White self-determination within the new constitutional dispensation against three requirements. The first is whether the Whites, as is the case at present, can change their constitution according to their own choice. The answer is “no”. In the new dispensation the Whites need the permission of the Coloureds and Indians to change their constitution. The second requirement I want to impose is whether the Whites have sole control, as is the case at present, over their appropriation. I want to quote what the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning said about this in Rapport:

Uiteindelik is die finale begroting die resultaat van onderlinge beraadslaging en ooreenkoms wat in die Kabinet tussen die leiers van die onderskeie groepe plaasvind. Aangesien dit ’n saak van gemeenskaplike belang is, moet die begroting dan deur al drie kamers oorweeg en goedgekeur word. Dié drie kamers het dus gelyke seggenskap oor die begroting.

Although at present the Whites in this Parliament have sole control over their appropriation, under the new dispensation, however, such absolute control will fall away. A third test is whether the Whites have sole control over the instruments with which a people guarantees and protects its self-determination, for example the Defence Force and the Police. In the new constitutional dispensation police and defence become matters of common concern and therefore the permission of Coloureds and Indians is also necessary for legislation involving these instruments and for voting for these instruments with which the Whites must be able to uphold and guarantee their right to self-determination if it were to become necessary. If weighed up against these three requirements, one sees that in the new constitutional dispensation there is no such thing as white self-determination.


The referendum is over, Jan.


The referendum is over now, yes, but that hon member will now begin to pick the fruits of what they voted “yes” for. I am sure that hon member does not know what he voted “yes” for. The Conservative Party will be telling the hon member for Wellington, from day to day, what he voted “yes” for, and we shall also be telling the people of Wellington.

It can be said, without fear of contradiction, that in the process the Whites have lost their self-determination. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs is now sitting there making a noise. As Transvaal leader of the National Party he has already had two hidings. I want to tell hon members on that side of the House that I hope they choose the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to take the lead in this process, because he believes what is contained in this constitution. Anyone who says, however, like the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs, that this new dispensation does not embody power-sharing, that the Whites are not losing their self-determination and that we are not dealing here with mixed government, will not be in any position to take the lead in the new dispensation.


All I want to know is whether Wellington would be part of the Coloured homeland or not.


I believe in a Coloured homeland, but I do not think the hon the Minister believes in the new dispensation. [Interjections.] That is why I am saying that I hope that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning will take the lead in the new dispensation, because at least I know that he believes, is convinced, that the constitution that he fathered can work.


Mr Speaker, it is interesting that both the person introducing the motion and the last Conservative Party speaker spoke about birds!

The hon member for Waterberg began by referring to Soutpansberg, and I do not begrudge him the satisfaction that has afforded him. He said it represented a swallow flying in a specific direction. I think that is the most suitable analogy the hon member could possibly have found, because as far as I know the swallow has two habits that are relevant here. The one is that it builds its nest of mud agains the walls of other people’s houses, and the second that it always flies away to other climes in the winter and is therefore not always flying in the same direction. That hon member is winging away from the cold climate of decision-making, as the swallow flies away from nature’s cold season.

In his speech the hon member referred … [Interjections.] I did not interrupt hon members. [Interjections.] The hon member for Waterberg referred to the speech he made 12 years ago. I did not read it, but I remember it. It was the speech that went round in circles, the speech that was neither here nor there. What is interesting is that he says that from the day to this he has consistently been saying the same things. Let me say that in making that statement the hon member for Waterberg is violating the truth. The fact is that up to 1981 the hon member for Waterberg and his party gave a specific conceptual shading to the idea of self-determination. That is why he personally signed a manifesto explaining that concept and others. What this amounts to is, firstly, that in 1981 he did not believe in absolute self-determination for Whites. He believed in self-determination for the various peoples and population groups on as many levels as possible. I am not putting words into his mouth, because it can be found in his own handwriting. He also went further and said he believed—his party followed in his footsteps; in fact, each of them came to the House on the basis of that credo—in the division of power amongst South African Whites, Coloureds and Asians on matters of individual concern, but with a system of consultation and joint responsibility in matters of common concern. Today those hon members do not believe in those concepts. So when the hon member says that in the course of 12 years he has consistently maintained certain standpoints, this is fundamentally a violation of the truth on his part.

I want to go further. The motion the hon member placed on the Order Paper cannot be supported by the Government, not because we do not believe in self-determination for the Whites, but because we believe that the Conservative Party gives different conceptual shadings to “self-determination” and “separate development”. They imbue them with content that was never part of the policy of the party they say they belonged to.

Although the hon member for Waterberg, in his discussion of the motion, referred to the self-determination of other peoples, this does not appear in the motion. There is an interesting explanation for why it does not appear in the motion, and that is that they want to distribute the motion throughout the country, and in doing so they can say they are the champions of White self-determination, leaving out any reference to the right to self-determination of other people.

I think we must decide on what we agree about so that we can also obtain clarity on what we disagree about. Then we can get rid of the large measure the futility of the debat we are conducting today. In the first instance the basic reality of this country that has dominated political, social and economic development is the composition of its population. This has been the chief factor exerting an influence throughout the years, and today we are still debating the very same thing. The reason for that is obvious. In such a society various people have conflicting and potentially explosive expectations, aspirations and demands. Generating expectations one side or another can change a potentially explosive situation into a definitely explosive one. This applies to those who argue that the Whites are dispensable in South Africa, in any case in the short term. On the other hand it also applies to those who see everything that is done for other people as a threat to their own privileged position and who think it is possible to maintain the principle of self-assertion at the cost of other people’s rights. No one can disagree with the statement that this is the essence of our country’s problems. That is why the question which is fundamental, which is central, to this motion still remains the one constitutional question the country is struggling with, ie how to escape a situation in which one group dominates another. It is therefore our task, in the process, to get away from that, to prevent domination by one group being replaced by domination by another group which could bring about a worse dispensation than the one we have at present. No one pretends that this is an easy task. In fact, most people think it is impossible. This does not, however, detract from the fact of its being our task and responsibility.

The Government’s point of departure is contained in section 2(2) of the constitution of the National Party. Owing to the limited time at my disposal, I shall merely refer briefly to it. The relevant section reads as follows:

It stands for the just and equal treatment of every part of South Africa, and for the maintenance of the rights and privileges of every section of the population.

This standpoint, which is as clear as crystal, contains elements that the hon member for Waterberg and his party have rejected since February 1982, and then they ask the House to endorse their rejection in the name of White self-determination and separate development. The section in the NP’s constitution, which I have quoted, firstly acknowledges the existence of the various parts of the population of our country. These are the various peoples—I am now directing my attention, in particular, to the hon member Prof Olivier—and other minority groups living here. It is the Government’s declared policy that groups must participate in statecraft as groups, and for this purpose it is essential to differentiate between the groups. There is not a single hon member in the House who does not accept this. People do indeed disagree on how a group should be identified, about how groups should be accommodated, but there is not an hon member in the House who does not accept that in the constitutional development of the country individuals will have to obtain and exercise their rights within the group context. That is why it is essential to differentiate between the groups, to identify them. We can again differ about the method, whether it should be done on a statutory basis or whether it should be done voluntarily. The fact remains that there must be differentiation if one is to function on a group basis.

What does this differentiation signify? The point of departure of this side of the House is that it should not be differentiation at the cost of any other groups or for the sake of the interests of only one group. That is the perspective lacking in the hon member for Waterberg’s motion, ie differentiation for the sake of the orderly satisfaction of the aspirations and expectations of not only the Whites, but also all other groups. The greatest threat to White survival and the maintenance of White self-determination lies in withholding the rights of other people and creating the fear, justified or not, that a ceiling has been placed on the development of other people. When, on the one hand, the process of differentiation leads to people being detrimentally affected and, on the other hand, to others being benefited, this destroys the objective of justice. Let me take a stand on this today. The NP is not doing what it is doing for other population groups on the basis of a guilty conscience, but is doing it, in the first place, on the basis of justice and on the basis of the fact that it is in the interests of the Whites that other people’s rights should be acknowledged.

The Government has pledged to remove and eliminate differentiation at the cost of others, differentiation which is fundamentally unjust. I concede that there were cases where the aim of differentiation, a lofty aim, was used to benefit or prejudice people. Friction frequently occurs at this level on the basis of what we say. It also frequently occurs in the process of the implementation of our policy of separate development. Friction also occurs at the administrative level, and therefore I reiterate today that people involved in the implementation of laws differentiating between groups must do so with a light and sensitive touch. Frequently the aim and method are unsullied, but the handling of the situation destroys the aim. That is why we here in Parliament, or the Government, cannot alone be responsible for these actions succeeding or failing. Their success lies in the hearts and hands of all the people living here, from kitchen level to that of Parliament. In his motion the hon member for Waterberg speaks only of the self-determination of the Whites. As far as the Government is concerned, however, it is a matter of the self-determination of all the peoples and all the groups living in this country, and in saying this I have no illusions whatsoever about the human limitations in the achievement of this ideal. The Government has always adopted the standpoint that the security of the Whites’ position was essential to the stability and security of everyone. I am saying, in all seriousness, that it is in the interests of all the peoples in South Africa that the Whites’ feeling of stability and security should be left unscathed. It must remain intact, not because we want to maintain a White-skin philosophy of life, not merely because we are White, but because the Whites in this country have, for centuries now, been exposed to the constitutional institutions and processes that we call democracy. Without the Whites, democratic institutions for the other peoples in South Africa cannot be maintained. Each day there are events underpinning and substantiating this fundamental standpoint. Hence it is no mere coincidence that the stability, the security and the level of development of comparable countries in Africa correlate directly with the feeling of stability of the Whites in those countries. When the position of the Whites was endangered and undermined, not only did the Whites disappear, but all the systems, all the value systems, were destroyed, it would be foolish, for the sake of academic exercises, to bring about the destruction of all rights in the country.

The conclusion and the point of departure of the Government, in this connection, is not the result of arrogance, nor a feeling of superiority, let alone a feeling of White exclusiveness. I believe, however, that by its very nature it embodies a call to service. If we still have a calling to fulfil, it is embodied in the service we must render to the values we propagate, and also the service we must render to the people to whom we propagate those values.

The CP’s view of self-determination is, in the first instance, an absolute view. As the hon member for Rissik put it, what is implied is that it is synonymous with sovereignty. I believe that in the new dispensation—I do concede this without qualification—the sovereignty of this Parliament will indeed be affected, just as it would have been affected in terms of the proposals that the hon members of the CP themselves signed, and also as it would have been affected in terms of the manifesto which their leader signed on their behalf. I am not asking for any apologies. The difference lies in the fact that we on this side of the House have consistently stood by what we have signed. [Interjections.] The CP’s standpoint implies, as they themselves have said, an individual navy, an individual defence force, an individual air transport system and a rail transport system, etc. It completely excludes having co-responsibility and a joint say with other groups, whatever form this might take. Surely they have not always excluded this. Their view of sovereignty and self-determination has not, after all, always been clothed in the absolute terms they are now propagating. That is surely not the truth of it. One would then expect the hon leader of the CP to have done what he did in the past and to have said he had changed. Today he comes and tells us here, however, that after twelve years he is, in a new capacity, making a speech here similar to his 1972 maiden speech. Surely that is not true, Mr Speaker. [Interjections.] This absolutizing of self-determination is, I believe, firstly a manifestation of a utopian trend of thought of the worst possible kind, of an escape from the realities we agree on. It is a fantasy world, a lotus land to which we so easily allow ourselves to be led in the false belief that our problems will thus be solved. If the views of the hon members of the CP were to apply in this country, it would amount to the destruction of the self-determination of all the peoples and all the groups in South Africa, including the Whites.

What is the nature of the actual situation we are dealing with? Since coming to Africa, the Whites have always been a minority group, and today they are still a minority group amongst the other groups. Hon members of the CP do not understand that because it is so, the self-determination of the Whites is directly dependent on two things. The first is our ability, our will, to acknowledge the right to self-determination of other groups when it comes to things that can be shared. Secondly it is dependent on our ability, our will, to accept, with others, joint responsibility for those general elements that cannot be shared. If we are not able to meet these requirements, if we do not morally have the will to give substance to this, we must acknowledge to ourselves that we have come to the end of the search for democratic solutions for this country. Then we must make the other choice and also accept the consequences of that other choice. The CP’s absolutist view of White self-determination attests to a particular temper of mind, one of exclusiveness and of superiority which I maintain one cannot, for the sake of stability and peaceful co-existence, afford to have in any group. What they are doing is bringing the conflicting expectations and demands of groups to a head.

According to the section I referred to in our party’s constitution, the party stands for the impartial maintenance of the rights and privileges of every section of the population, and separate development has never been anything more or anything less than a policy strategy to ensure the maintenance of rights. I acknowledge once again that the object is very often thwarted by its practical implementation. I acknowledge this. What I am saying is that this policy strategy can only succeed if it offeres all sections of the population security and prospects of better living conditions. We have a proud record in a difficult and complex society when it comes to the steps we have taken in the educational, economic and political spheres to give substance to this strategy. We can argue—in fact I can do so very well—that what has been done is too little or too much, or has been done to early or too late. That is not, however, the point. The point is that we have a record we can be proud of when it comes to the dispensation we have thus far established and maintained in South Africa. We can also be proud of the fact that this is the only country in which we were able to persuade the dominant group to relinquish certain powers for the sake of other people. Why do we not, for once, tell each other what an achievement it is to fulfil people’s expectations by peaceful means? We shall fail in this country if we rant and rave about the concept of separateness whilst all the while whispering and complaining about development. I want to say quite frankly that the only thing the CP is doing, in promoting the objectives of their bitterness inside and outside the House, is telling people that the development processes and actions for Blacks, Coloureds and Asians are being carried out at the cost of the rights and privileges of the Whites.

The motion has been wrongly formulated, because as far as the hon member for Waterberg is concerned, development and separateness are contradictory concepts. [Interjections.] That is a party that wants White exclusivity for itself, and to blazes with the rights of other people. [Interjections.]

I now come to the hon member’s definition of a people, and I should very much like to say where I stand, because I am an Afrikaner.


Would you be able to prove that in court by adducing evidence?


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Langlaagte would do well to keep quiet, because many of the people I see cannot afford to have their family tree examined. [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon the Minister made an insinuation, and I ask him to repeat it for you.


Order! The hon the Minister may continue. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon the Minister made an insinuation about the hon member for Langlaagte’s lineage.


That is not true. I made no insinuation. [Interjections.]




Then I request you, Sir, to ask the hon the Minister what he meant by that.


Order! I have ruled that the hon the Minister may continue. He made no insinuation aimed at the hon member for Langlaagte.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon the Minister insinuated that there were problems involving my lineage …


Order! I have already given my ruling. The hon member must take his seat so that the hon the Minister may continue.


Mr Speaker, what was your ruling? Do you approve of the hon the Minister making such an allegation and adopting such a standpoint?


Order! I have ruled that the hon the Minister made no insinuation. I am therefore requesting hon members to stop putting these points of order so that the hon the Minister can continue with his speech.


Sir, I want to say at once that I made no insinuation about the hon member for Langlaagte.


Go and say that outside the House.


The hon member is wasting my time.


Order! I forbid the hon member for Langlaagte to make any further interjections whilst the hon the Minister is speaking. The hon the Minister may proceed.


There was a time when the Afrikaner was the victim of domination. There was a time when he was caught in the grip of poverty.

Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 34 and motion and amendments lapsed.


Mr Speaker, I move the motion printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That this House notes the sustained efforts of the Government to provide housing to the lower income groups, but expresses its concern at the ever increasing cost of housing and rates of interest, which make it increasingly difficult for the middle income groups to be housed.

There are two basic functions which no modern state can disregard.

*Dr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay):

Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I think the hon member for Langlaagte should come back after the provocative attitude he has just adopted towards the Chair.


Order! I have already called upon the hon member for Bellville to speak. In any event, the previous debate has been concluded. The hon member for Bellville may proceed.


As I have just said, there are two basic functions which no modern state can disregard. The first basic function is the military function and the second one is the housing function. The military function of the modern state is concerned with the integrity of the state’s borders, while the housing function is concerned with the integrity of the state’s inhabitants. On the one hand, the military function is the bulwark for the operational front, and on the other hand, the housing function is the bulwark for the home front. In South Africa, as in most other developing countries in the world, there is a very close correlation between the standard of housing and the sometimes stifling social conditions of starvation, disease and basic poverty.

I do not wish to venture into the field of the basic philosophy of housing, but I do want to point out a few correlations to this House. When home ownership and the housing supply increase, the birth rate drops, and when home ownership increases, the crime rate comes down. When the quality of housing improves, the quality of education improves. This is the background against which I have moved this motion. The motion consists of two main elements: The Government is thanked for what it has done in the sphere of low-cost housing, and this House conveys its thanks to the Government for what has been achieved in the attempts to promote home ownership so that everyone in South Africa may aspire to home ownership. That is the first leg of the motion. The second leg is that this House is asked to give thorough consideration to the problems which exist with regard to the provision of housing for the middle income group.

I am going to concentrate on the second leg of the motion. I just want to refer briefly to the first part. I also want to say that the Government has a proud housing record. A great deal of the political stability which we experience today can be attributed to the positive housing policy of this Government. I should like to refer to a few of the outstanding achievements in this field. Over the past five years, R1 821 million has been spent in creating 151 000 housing units. I am referring to the new housing policy of the Government as such and also to the fact that the Government has adopted the policy that home ownership should be brought within the reach of everyone in South Africa and that we should escape from the grip of the subsidy monster. We have launched a powerful sales drive to sell 500 000 dwelling houses in order to achieve this objective.

I also want to refer to welfare housing. It has recently been announced that R60 million will be made available for welfare housing. When we consider the fact that welfare housing for category C inhabitants is subsidized up to one-twentieth per cent, we can tell one another in this House that as far as this important facet of the national economy is concerned, the Government has contributed its share towards stabilizing the housing programme. The essence of my motion is that it is becoming more and more difficult for the middle income groups to obtain housing. When families move from one town to another, for example, it is virtually impossible to obtain a house within reasonable limits. Inflation and other economic factors have brought enormous pressure to bear on the cost of housing. I just want to examine this facet of the housing sphere. When I single out some factors which have made it difficult for the middle income group to obtain housing, I do this against the background of the fact—and also to put it in perspective—that the economy has grown in recent years. There has been an improvement in the quality of life. Personal income has improved. In spite of that, I want to single out a few aspects in order to indicate why it has become so much more difficult for the middle income group to obtain housing.

The first factor I want to mention to you is that the interest rate on mortgage bonds has risen by approximately 7% over the past four years. This has a direct effect on the availability of housing. It has a direct effect on the availability of housing, and not only on home ownership. It also has an indirect effect on the rentals that are charged when a house is let. Interest rates have risen and building societies, which have traditionally supplied 74% of housing funds in the form of mortgage bonds, are experiencing liquidity problems today. Building societies simply do not have enough funds any more to make loans available for new housing. When people apply for loans to building societies and other mortgaging institutions, a quid pro quo is required in the form of an investment equal to the amount of the loan that is being applied for.

In order to relate this problem which exists in the middle income group today to the personal household, I want to mention the following example. It must also be seen against the background of the fact that there has been economic growth over the past 10 to 12 years. According to the Bureau for Economic Research at the University of Stellenbosch, the building cost index has risen by 430% over the past 15 years. This represents an average yearly increase of approximately 11,5%. This means that a house which cost R10 000 10 years ago would cost R53 000 today as a result of the rise in the cost of building. Ten years ago, the bond repayments on such a house would have been R80 a month. Today, as a result of the inflation factor and other economic factors, the bond repayment on an equivalent house is R700 a month. I also want to relate this to the income which a person must have to be able to afford this bond payment. As a result of the rise in building costs and inflation—especially cost-push inflation—a person would have needed an annual income of R3 840 a year 10 to 12 years ago in order to afford a house equivalent to one costing R53 000 today. Since the bond payment on a R53 000 house is R700 per month today, the personal income of the individual must be R33 000 per year. I mention this in order to show hon members that as a result of inflation and cost-push factors this important aspect of housing is now beyond the reach of the middle income group. It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain housing.

I want to say that this tendency of the rising cost of housing for the middle income group is reflected in the average bonds granted by building societies over the past three years. In 1982 the average bond granted was R29 000; in 1983 it was R37 000 and today it is R41 000.

I want to say that this is the problem. I do not think that any of us would dispute the fact that a problem exists in this connection. The question then arises: What are we going to do in order to solve the problem? What action can be taken in order to solve this problem of housing for the middle income group? There are basically three options. We can tell one another that there is a problem with regard to the middle income group and that the Government must provide houses. Secondly, we can say that there is a problem with regard to housing for the middle income group and that the Government has to subsidize housing. Thirdly, we can say that a partnership should be entered into between the public and the private sectors in order to find ways and means of dealing with this and to draw up programmes to ensure that the man in the street, the citizen who goes to work every day and who is bearing the burden of cost increases, will not find that housing is beyond his grasp.

These are the only three possibilities. The first one, namely that the State should build, is out of the question. It is out of the question because the economy of the country simply could not bear such a burden. In the second place there is the idea of solving this problem by means of subsidies. A State subsidy is a very attractive possibility for making housing available to people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. However, I want to sound a warning in this connection and I want to support the Government and the hon the Minister in their attempt to move away from the subsidizing of housing. This is a monster which is being created and which is going to grow bigger and bigger. I could quote examples. In America, the hon member for Sea Point, the hon the Deputy Minister and I came into contact with the section 8 programme and the section 236 programme in terms of which $3 000 billion is being spent on housing subsidies every year. The fact is that this money is being poured into a bottomless pit and is not being used to create a single additional housing unit. Therefore the option of dealing with the housing problem by providing subsidies is not a sound one.

All that remains is for a partnership or an agreement to be entered into between the State and the private sector in order to work out programmes or formulae in terms of which housing funds can be made available from the private sector. I want to commend such a scheme to the hon the Minister in all humility. I came into contact with this scheme while I was on an extended visit to America recently. It is a scheme in terms of which a secondary money market is created to provide funds for the provision of housing. In my humble opinion, the creation of a secondary money market holds great possibilities for the solution of the total housing problem of South Africa. One possibility is that the liquidity in the private sector would be channelled to the housing sector as well. Hon members may ask me what the creation of a secondary money market for housing means in real terms. Basically it means that mortgaging institutions in the private sector pool a portion of their mortgages. This mortgage pool is then converted into stocks or securities which could be taken up by the private sector as a negotiable instrument. In America this programme is known as the so-called ‘Ginnie Mae programme”. I shall briefly quote the basic characteristics of this programme. These are:

A Federal agency within the Department of Housing and Urban Development that guarantees privately issued securities backed by pools of Federally insured mortgages.

I have documents with me in which this matter is dealt with. I just want to make one quotation. In the book Investment Opportunities, an authoritative American publication, the following is said:

On February 19, 1970, a new security was introduced to the world of fixed-in-come investors when the State of New Jersey Pension Fund purchased 2 million dollars worth of GNMA pass through securities.

It has accumulated since to the value of 140 million dollars, which has helped to assist 4 million families to acquire their own homes. In other words, the private and public sectors may join forces in creating new initiatives for alleviating the housing problem experienced by the lower income group.


Mr Speaker, we owe the hon member a debt of gratitude for moving this motion which affords us the opportunity to debate the important problem of housing. We are grateful for the positive contribution which the hon member has made today in respect of housing in general and in respect of the secondary money market for housing. Although the hon member may be on the wrong track politically, he is very sensible when it comes to housing and he has the interests of his constituents and those of the broader South African community at heart. Under his guidance a housing utility company was established in his constituency. For that he must be complimented, more particularly because he was able to obtain R10 million for that from the hon the Minister. One recalls, too, the plea by the hon member last week—this may not concern his own constituents directly, although indirectly it is important to them as well—that leasehold rights be granted to Blacks in the Western Cape. It is a practical and courageous approach which gets away from the ideology of the governing party and confines itself solely to housing, as is right.

I do not want to dwell at length on all the hon member’s remarks. I understand that there should be as little Government assistance for the middle-income group as possible, although there is a general Government responsibility. There is a difference between assistance and subsidies and Government responsibility. That responsibility is best carried out by co-ordinating of the work and expertise of the private sector and the public sector. This Ginnie Mae revolving fund or secondary money market may make a practical contribution. What it does do, is to create a money resource but the money will not be cheaper if there is not some form of preference or support on the part of the Government. One possibility is to create a new money resource, another to lower interest rates. The mere creation of that fund does not necessarily lower interests rates. Whereas in general we should steer clear of subsidies for the middle-income group, there is a difference, however, between that pit of subsidies on rentals, and subsidies or assistance for the building of houses. If one builds a house, it is a once-only event and it is an investment. But if there is a constant subsidization of rentals, nothing is added to the supply of housing in South Africa. I am just trying to point out the difference between assistance in the building of houses and assistance in respect of rentals. However, I have to add that in my opinion, there is still a case to be made out for subsidizing rentals for certain groups of people in South Africa today. But I shall leave that for another debate when the hon the Deputy Minister will participate.

†The hon member’s motion is divided into two sections. The one is that the House notes the Government’s sustained efforts to provide housing to the lower income groups. That was not the thrust of the hon member’s speech, but he nevertheless dealt with it. While the Government has in the last couple of years started to show that it wants to get the wheel of low-cost housing moving, we cannot be associated with a motion which in any way congratulates the Government on its “sustained efforts” in the field of the provision of low-cost housing. The hon the Minister will realize why I say so. Virtually no houses have been built for Blacks in the Western Cape from 1972 to 1982. There is no sustained effort. According to the Viljoen Commission’s report on housing in Soweto, there is a backlog of 55 000 houses. Houses were being built at the rate of 1 000 a year when, in fact, it was necessary to build them at the rate of 11 000 a year. [Interjections.] I think the hon the Minister is improving, but do not ask us to be associated with a motion which in retrospect talks about a sustained effort.

One of the problems is that the Government’s effort in Black and low income group housing, as the hon the Minister knows, has been hampered by its race policy. He knows that, when it came to Blacks, housing was seen as an instrument for applying influx control. It was seen as a means of denying the permanence of Blacks in White areas. These things are, however, starting to change, except in the Western Cape. I must admit that there is a much healthier approach towards low income group housing today than there has been in many years.

The Government has made two specific policy changes. The hon the Minister knows that one of these is the selling of houses. This is a specific policy change that was announced last year. The second policy change was the limiting of the State’s responsibility for building houses for the group with an income under R150 per month or for old-age and welfare purposes. That was a limitation on its responsibility for housing as opposed to infrastructure.


Dictated by funds.


Let us rather stop wasting money on other things; spend the money on housing.


Be specific.


If there was time to be more specific, I could give the hon member a catalogue as long as my arm to show in which ways the Government is wasting money.

We have expressed our doubts, our reservations and our approval in respect of aspects of these two policies, but we will withhold judgment until the Government has had the time to implement them. However, what we would like to know is what progress has been made with the selling of houses and, secondly, how many new houses are being built, because, when one sells a house, one does not increase the number of houses available, one merely transfer the house from one landlord to the other; one transfers it from the landlord to a new owner, but one does not add any more houses. The success of that scheme is therefore not only going to be judged on how many houses have been sold, but on how many new houses have been built as a result. As I have said, we withhold judgment until the hon the Minister can give us those figures.

The second leg of the hon member’s motion deals with the other aspect of the problem of housing for the middle income group. This is especially a cost factor, a factor of affordability. That was the thrust of the hon member’s speech, and that is where he made his most constructive proposals.

We in these benches share the concern expressed by the hon the Minister. We know from our own practical experience that in our cities more and more ordinary middle income group people are finding it difficult to find accommodation they can afford to pay for. That is essentially the problem. We know that many are faced with the problem of rising costs; some are in a desperate situation. We also know that many people have been compelled to change their lifestyles while others have been compelled to reduce their standards of living, and others even have to stretch their resources beyond what are safe limits. We also know that many people, even if they can find accommodation, cannot afford to pay for it. This is the reality of the situation in the cities. The fact is that if the recognized standard that an individual should not pay more than 30% of his income towards housing and accommodation is accepted, it means that hundreds of thousands of South African in the middle income group are being compelled, as a result of housing costs, to spend above that 30% or live beyond their means.

The problem is not so bad for a person who is in employment. He can adjust his working style. He can work more intensively. He can adopt techniques such as that of husband and wife both working in order to augment their income. He is under strain but that strain is not as traumatic for him as it is for the person who is living on a fixed income. I stress here year after year how my heart bleeds for the older senior citizens of South Africa, who are being squeezed between rising platform of costs on the one hand and the fixed ceiling of their earnings on the other hand. I believe it is our first responsibility in the urban areas to look at the problem of our senior citizens. When we ask how this affects the middle income group, it is clear that the more suitable accommodation one can find for the senior citizens in the cities the more accommodation will be released for other people. Many senior citizens are living in houses which are perhaps more suitable for families. Yet there is no alternative accommodation for them. Many of them would rather be living in community dwellings rather than in single flats which would then be available for single people. We believe that one of the ways of easing the strain on the housing situation for the ordinary citizen in the cities is to pay prime attention to the question of the availability of suitable, tailor-made accommodation for the senior citizens of our communities. This would make a very considerable contribution towards solving the housing problem as a whole.

There is another aspect of this, which goes far wider. The results of increasing costs in the housing field have an important socioeconomic and also political consequence because it means that more and more people who find themselves today in the economic group, are being pressed down into what is going to become a sub-economic group. Today they can still withstand the economic strain but as costs rise more people from that stable centre core of our society will be pushed down into, what I shall call for the purposes of this discussion, a sub-economic group. More and more people are going to become more and more dependent upon the Government for assistance unless something is done about it.

The Government is going to come under increasing pressure to adopt short-term expedience in order to remedy the housing problem rather than to deal with it in terms of a long-term strategy in order to sort it out. I believe that is the danger which confronts the Government, and which confronts us all. I believe one has to see the problem of this particular group—the middle income group in the cities—as part of a total problem of housing, one that has to be faced immediately.

We are all becoming aware of the scope of our housing problem. If we look at the tables which we have had before us it is clear that we are going to need something like 3,5 million housing units before the turn of the century. Another factor is that the private sector—if one takes the overall contribution towards housing—is playing an ever-decreasing role in the provision of housing. If one looks at the figures provided by the National Building Research Institute it appears that in 1960 the public sector was providing 3,25% of the gross investment of the country in the field of housing, while the private sector was providing 13,85%. By 1970 the figure in respect of the public sector was still 3,4%, with that of the private sector at 12,11%. In 1980 the public sector’s contribution was still 3,61% and that of the private sector down to 7,16%.


Was that on account of the phasing out of rent control?


Mr Speaker, it has nothing to do with the phasing out of rent control. Rent control may have had some influence on the building of new blocks of flats. The hon the Minister may scrap rent control altogether tomorrow, yet I defy him to try to be able to build a block of flats in Sea Point that he can rent to middle income group people. It is just not possible and I shall tell you why. It is because of the cost factor. I do not think that we should run away from the question of the cost factor.

While the hon member’s motion introduces the subject of housing, we do not believe that it is sufficient of an injunction or instruction to the hon the Minister. Therefore, I wish to move as an amendment:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House, recognizing the serious problems which many South African face in the field of housing, calls upon the Government to formulate and implement a comprehensive housing strategy to ensure that there is adequate housing for all sections of the community at prices which the people can afford.”

The next point that I wish to make is in regard to the essential and longer-term problems and relate them to the shorter-term action which the Government has had to take.

I believe that Monster No 1 is not so much a matter of subsidies. Monster No 1 in the field of housing is inflation.

I do not think we should underestimate the role of the hon the Minister of Finance and the fiscal policy that he sets in relation to the problems that face the middle income group in South Africa today. The cost of the commodities that go towards the erection of a building and the decline in the value of the rand in relation to the fixed asset that one possesses, are causing inflation not only to be the monster to which I referred, but to be public enemy No 1 which is playing absolute havoc with property economics in South Africa. I believe that inflation is the single most serious of the many factors that are causing the severe housing problems resulting in an almost crisis situation among certain sections of the population, especially the middle income group. For us in the PFP the present high level of inflation is unacceptable. The first effect of it is to push up building costs. We have only to read the findings of the Stellenbosch Bureau of Economic Research. In three years building costs have risen by 74%. However, there are other factors in relation to inflation that also have to be taken into account. Inflation does not only push up the cost of a building. It also pushes up the cost of money which is an essential part of the total cost of accommodation. With interest on money running between 18% and 20% every time a piece of land lies vacant, unless that land increases in value by 20% each year, it will be declining in value. As land lies around, so the promoters of development schemes expect more and more money to cover the cost of financing. The cost of a building is not simply to be found in the bricks, the mortar and the labour. It is in the financing of that building during the process of erection. At 20% that adds a very significant amount to the cost of the building itself. As the hon member indicated so eloquently this afternoon, the problem is the cost of borrowing. When we put these three items together, the impact of inflation on land costs, building costs and borrowing costs, we have the situation where home-ownership which should be the objective of the Government especially in respect of people in the middle income group, is now beyond the reach of young couples wanting to have their first home as well as of older people in the city living on fixed incomes. Those people who can adjust their incomes upwards can still cope but the people in the two categories I have just mentioned cannot cope.

The third thing that inflation does is that it encourages speculation, not so much in building new property because there is a risk factor in this regard. However, as the hon the Minister and his Deputy should be aware, particularly with the introduction of the sectional titles concept there has been an absolute orgy of property speculation. People have bought wildly. They have said: We have to get in because the price is rising. What is going to happen in three, four or five years’ time?


We have curtailed that now.


Well, Sir, the Government may have curtailed it but they have curtailed it at a higher level of costs. What has happened is that the capital structure of each building has been increased. A building that had a capital structure of R2 million suddenly had a new capital structure of R5 million when it was broken up into sectional title units. The people who invested on that basis immediately pushed up the rentals in order to accommodate the new situation. It distorted the whole question of the rental which was demanded on the one hand and the ability of people to pay it on the other hand. It might balance itself out in the long run. The hon the Deputy Minister said that they have curtailed that now, but let him know that many, many people do not have proper accommodation because of this push factor, and I think many people are going to get their fingers burnt as a result of this speculative orgy that took place over the last few years.


It is about time, too.


I am all for saying people should not be imprudent, but I shall not say that therefore I am happy that people are being kicked out of their houses. I am not happy that old people cannot pay rentals. I am not happy that people are going to lose whatever their investments have been. All I am saying is that had it not been for the inflation factor or if our inflation factor was running at 5%, the rate at which it is running in Britain and the USA, there would not have been this helter-skelter scramble to try to acquire these properties before the prices go up.

Public enemy number one when it comes to middle income group housing is the inflation factor. We call upon the hon the Minister to use his influence with the hon Minister of Finance in order to see that something is done about it.

The second point is that when one looks at the cost of housing, one must also look at the cost of land and services because in almost every development scheme the cost of land varies from something like 20% to 50% of the total cost of the package depending upon the nature of the land and the density of the housing development. I believe something constructive has to be done in the whole question of land development. I should hope that the Government is going to take careful note of the recommendations which I think will or have been made to it by the Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment under the chairmanship of the hon the Deputy Minister of Industries, Trade and Tourism.

There are delays in forward planning. There is a multiplicity of overlapping authorities. There are complicated procedures. All of these add to the total cost of the unit piece of land. Then there are onerous requirements. There are endowments and provisions for open space which are very often injudicious or superfluous. There is a demand for our standard of services which very often is far too high. There is the whole question of the arbitrary size and the width of roads which reduces the carrying capacity of a particular piece of land.

There is the arbitrary and the traditional attitude towards the size of erven. I believe that we can get by in South Africa with much smaller plots, much smaller erven than those which we had in the past. In fact, South Africa will not be able to afford the traditional 1920, 1930 and 1940 approach that one can have an acre or a 0,5 acre plot with a house put right in the middle of it. It is just not going to be possible. There is also the whole question of the integration of private and public spaces, of parking and things of this nature. There is also the question of access roads and so on. There is also the question of the best utilization of the erf. There is the old-fashioned concept in many local authorities that one could not have a boundary wall that formed part of the house. We shall have to maximize the use of our land, and I believe that if we maximize the use of our land, we shall have greater cost efficiency when it comes to the houses themselves. We shall have to think of smaller units. I know the hon the Minister lives in a big Cabinet house.


We are already past what you are coming to now.


We are not talking about cases like those, but we are talking about the average citizen. I think we should also make use of new techniques.

In conclusion I want to come back to the question with which the hon member primarily dealt and that is the financing of buildings. I believe that much has to be done. The setting up of utility companies has been a plus. We think that more push should be given to that concept. The private sector has to come in and I think that, if we do not want to subsidise it, the very least that should be done is that State land which is not efficiently and effectively used must be sold off at reduced prices if necessary in order to get township development going. The hon member will say: We want the hon the Minister not to talk about it but we want him to get on with it. We are tired of the Tiger Tim smile on his face and we want to see some action.

Then, of course, there must be much more flexibility in finance techniques. That hon member was with me in Miami before Mr Stander arrived at Fort Lauderdale. There we met a realtor, a State attorney and others who told us of 16 different ways of arranging out individual loans for housing, each one tailor-made to suit the specific needs of a specific individual. I believe that there must be far greater flexibility. If there are any regulations which prevent that flexibility, either in the case of banks or building societies, they must be scrapped by the Government. At the same, I believe that the Government must make an appeal to the private sector to be more inventive in the type of loans and financing which they can give the individual. I say this because, only if we can mobilize the private sector, not with silly, sentimental subsidies, but with encouragement of new processes only if the private sector and the public sector can combine their efforts, do we have any hope whatever of getting the backlog of housing off our backs, only then do we have any hope of finding housing for the middle income group. Only then will the Government be able to face up to its overall socio-economic responsibility of seeing that everyone has a house which he can afford.


Mr Speaker, I can understand the criticism of the hon member for Sea Point, but I want to ask that hon member to forgive me if I do not react directly to what he said. During the course of my speech I shall return to several of the aspects he touched on in his speech.

Mr Speaker, today I want to express my particular appreciation to the hon member for Bellville who moved this motion in the House. In particular I want to associate myself with the first part of the motion and it is previsely in this regard that I disagree with the hon member for Sea Point. Today I want to prove that the Government is continuing to play its part in respect of the provision of low cost housing in the Republic of South Africa. I am going to give hon members the proof.

When I thank the Government today, I am doing so on behalf of millions of happy home-owners in the Republic of South Africa who would never have been able to own a house in any other way. In the process our communities were uplifted, and in this regard I want to convey a special word of thanks and appreciation to the officials of the Department of Community Development who work with dedication and zeal in a very important department and provide a service to our community.

Yesterday afternoon we listened to a long debate here on the price of bread. It is important for us to discuss this, but along with the provision of food and clothing suitable permanent accommodation is of the utmost importance. Suitable permanent accommodation is important in a marriage because if there is no suitable permanent accommodation, this creates tension in the marriage. It is important to have suitable accommodation because if there is none, that also causes problems in the family. It has been proved over the years that if a child has to attend two, three or even four different schools during the course of a single year, this has an adverse effect on the progress of that child at school. Another point is that it is in the interests of the community and also in the interests of the church. Permanent accommodation is also important in the work context because if a person has no proper accommodation, it causes tension. A person working under tension can never be productive, yet we appeal to our people every day to be more productive.

The Government’s policy with regard to the provision of housing, in other words its housing policy, is quite clear but I think it is necessary for me to mention it to hon members again today. The Government’s policy is in the first place that the provision of housing rests with the individual. In the second place, it is the responsibility of the employer and in the final instance it is also the responsibility of the State. Over the years, however, the Government has made use of experts to advise it on all aspects of the provision of housing in this country.

I delved into history a little. The hon member for Sea Point was originally elected to this House under the banner of the United Party, which governed this country until 1948. During the period 1920 to 1948, ie 28 years, 22 301 houses were constructed for Whites. Over a similar period of time, from 1948 to 1976, the National Party Government constructed 92 421 dwelling units for Whites. I also examined at the position with regard to housing for Coloureds, Asians and Blacks. During the 28 years up to and including 1948, 64 843 dwelling units were made available for these race groups. In a similar period, from 1948 to 1976, the National Government constructed 523 639 dwelling units for these race groups. That is why we are moving this motion today and that is why we want to express our appreciation to the Government for its sustained efforts. In a period of 21 years up to and including 30 September 1982, 531 362 dwelling units were erected by the State at a total cost of R2 504,7 million.

The demand for housing in the Republic of South Africa will increase. The reason for this has to be seen against the background of the demographic trends in South Africa. Yesterday we held a long debate here in the House about the drought which has been ravaging our country for the past few years. This is also going to have an effect on the urbanization process. Both Whites and people of colour will move to the cities and towns where there are employment opportunities, which will have a further effect on the demand for housing in the Republic of South Africa.

The hon member for Sea Point asked a question about the selling scheme which the Government introduced. This is a golden opportunity which is being offered to the individual. It is also a golden opportunity for the employer to make funds available to his employee to provide him with housing. A discount of 40% is being given on these properties. Fifty per cent of the total return from the sale of houses is being given to the local authorities so that the necessary infrastructure can be created for the construction of housing.

This afternoon I want to mention one example. During the past few weeks 29 Black local authorities have been established in this country. I want to furnish statistics for one Black city only, namely greater Soweto. In greater Soweto R120 million from Government funds has been invested in housing. If we get the co-operation of both the Black and White local authorities to assist us in this connection and even if we only sell 50% of those properties—which will realize an income of R60 million of which R30 million will go to the Black local authority to create further infrastructure—then I want to ask whether one should not become excited when one thinks of the steps the Government is taking, bearing in mind the funds it has at its disposal, to ensure that the people in this country are happily accommodated.

Then there is low cost housing. Can you imagine, Sir, that loans are being made available on a differentiated basis at an interest rate as low as 9%? Then there is welfare housing. From the 1979-80 financial year up to and including 31 December 1983, 3 637 units were provided at a total cost of R141,6 million. Welfare housing is provided to three categories of people: Category A consists of people who are able to help themselves; category B are the partially infirm; and category C are the inform. I maintain that the Government simply cannot continue to cater for all these categories. The people in category A, those persons who can help themselves, have to be kept in the community as long as possible. We have to see to this. I myself have for many years advocated that there should be relief for these people as far as rates are concerned, and I am grateful that they are being allowed a rebate of up to 40% on rates.

I made a calculation in connection with a property constructed with State funds. Two decades ago the total costs were 5 400. I accept that the price of the property has gone up. Initially the rates on the property amounted to R49,36. At present the annual rates on the same property, without any alterations having been made, amount to R286,50. Then one has not yet taken other charges which are constantly rising into account. One thinks of water, electricity and so on. The man who purchased that house, did so to live in himself and not for speculation purposes. It has only served that purpose for all these years. Serious consideration will have to be given to abolishing property tax in certain cases for people with a low income who have reached a specific age and are happy living in that dwelling unit.

I am extremely grateful to be able to say here this afternoon that the Government also has another scheme, namely the self-help building scheme. I welcome this. I am very sorry that more people are not making use of it. I think more people in our country should stop approaching the Government and other institutions begging for help. I think people should try to help themselves for a change. I think they should become more involved physically in the erection of their houses and more effectively. To make it possible for those people to help themselves, we in the Government have to make funds available to them. What is also important, is that we have to provide suitable plots at a price our people can afford. Then, and only then, can we make progress. I want to make an appeal to local authorities. Let us be more sympathetic and lenient and help our people to eventually help themselves.

In conclusion I should like to discuss the third participant in the provision of housing. I am referring to the employer. Today I am able to say that I have nothing but appreciation for the many employers in this country who provide their employees with housing. However, I have one problem and that is that there are many employers who are not prepared to sell those properties to their employees.

Sir, people live according to their income. As long as a man has a house at a low rental, he will not think of making provision for himself. I want to make a serious appeal to employers to make it possible for their employees to purchase their own homes. Employers will benefit from this. When an employee has given of his best for 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, or even longer, it is also necessary for us to ask employers to help provide our infirm aged in our community with accommodation.

When an old person is in the twilight of his life, I do not like to see him being removed from the community where he has spent the greater part of his life. I want to keep him in his community and his church and among his friends. We shall have to all join hands. Employers, local authorities, utility companies and the State will have to stand together. It may even be necessary to convert existing old age homes which do not have the necessary facilities to care for our infirm aged into the kind of place that is able to do so. We shall have to insist on provision being made for these people. In comparison with the rest of the world, this country is the country with the largest percentage of aged people in old age homes. However, we have a duty and a responsibility. If everyone does his duty, we shall be successful in future.


Mr Speaker, we have been listening attentively, particularly to the hon member for Bellville who gave a very clear exposition of the real problem concerning housing. The hon member for Sea Point discussed the problem from a different angle. What eventually emerged was that sufficient housing was not available. Sustained efforts to provide housing is not an answer as far as I am concerned. One must achieve success. The Government cannot be congratulated on sustained efforts if there is insufficient housing.

The hon member for Witbank touched on a very important point when he said that one should not remove a person from this community. A person should not be removed from his church or his friends. I hope the hon the Minister will remember this in the case of Mayfair. There the exact opposite was done to 322 less well-off families in my constituency. Unfortunately I cannot understand why in a case such as this the principles which should not be applicable in respect of housing were in fact applied here. On the other hand, people who occupy the properties of others illegally are allowed to do so. The amenities mentioned by the hon member for Witbank which should be given to the poor and the aged are, however, being taken away.

Unfortunately I am unable to support the motion of the hon member for Bellville since to my mind it is largely lip-service. To say how lovely it is to be living in homes, how fine it is if one has sufficient garden paths and what wonderful projects are being tackled, and all of this is on paper only, serves no purpose. I want to see people having roofs over their heads. There is no point in the Government saying that it is moving away from this obligation and that it is not its responsibility to perform these tasks. For a period of up to 20 years the Government saw its way clear to saying that it could provide housing to the entire population. But what happened? As far as the provision of housing was concerned, private initiative was pushed out altogether. Moreover, the Government created the most expensive method for the provision of housing viz to restrict the period within which payment had to be effected for the provision of services. At the time when there were still many township developers …


Where are they now?


That is a good question. I do not know where they are now, but it might be a good idea for the hon member to find out since there are a few, but not many, left in Pretoria. The township developer has been pushed out because local authorities have often seen the opportunity of increasing the cost of services to such an extent that these could be recovered by them in a single amount. Surely it is stupid to recover in a single amount the cost of the provision of services to a dwelling. The value of a house costing approximately R80 000 at present is reduced by between R10 000 and R15 000 by not recovering the full costs of services immediately but recovering the costs over an extended period. The Treasury lends the money for the installation of essential services to a municipality over a term of 60 years. The municipality does not immediately recover the amount of R15 000 plus 17,5% interest per annum from the buyer, but gives him the option of paying a levy of up to R25 over a period, and this may be a period of 10, 15 to 20 years. That levy is paid and the municipality builds up an enormous amount of capital slowly but surely. However, the cost and interest structure is not put into operation in full at one and the same time. For example, if one has 4 500 plots on which there is a levy of R25 per month per plot and one invests that amount at 7%, one will have R57 071 437,48 after a period of 20 years. However, the Government Treasury bond or lean covers a period of 60 years, and one must remember that this method of financing gives rise to a chain reaction to a large extent. For example, any small town can earn R6 362 928,41 on 1 500 plots over a period of 10 years. In other words, I just want to point out to hon members that this is something of which one should take cognizance. The biggest problem concerning finance is not the shortage of finance but the incorrect utilization thereof. Is it really wrong to have an extended period for the payment of services? Many people contend that the man occupying the house has to pay for his services immediately. However, this is not necessary.

Where the problem arises is that no sewerage system becomes defective within a period of 30, 40 or even 60 years. The water supply system does not become defective within that period either. Of course, problems may arise with the electric wiring within that period. That, however, is a system inside a building, one which need not be replaced outside the building. Therefore, the costs in this regard are born by the occupiers themselves. The real problem of the occupier is, of course, the costs which he has to pay to building societies in the long term. Fortunately these are systematically reduced by a considerable amount.

One of the biggest problems, of course, remains township development itself. Until we get away from the idea of a township development register having to be opened at this particular time and of the subdivision of plots having to be held in abeyance for four or five years, these problems will not be solved.

Chicago is one of the world’s largest cities, a city which makes Johannesburg look like a small village. Even in Chicago a farm is converted into a township within a period of three weeks, since subdivision is all that is involved, and not township development. By employing the services of a single attorney all problems relating to land titles are eliminated. The costs of streets, services, etc, are borne by a long-term bond. Due to the employment of these methods, it takes only six months before houses can be built on those plots.

What does it cost the ordinary South African by the time this whole process has been completed in a new township in South Africa? Let us assume that the land on which the township is to be developed costs R1 million. I believe the cost of a plot should never exceed 30% of the ultimate cost of the completed dwelling. The problem is that interest becomes payable from the first day on the amount of the cost involved in the establishment of a new township, and let us assume that the land costs R1 million. Because of the risk factor involved, the interest payable on that amount is not a mere 10% or 12% but may even be as high as 28%. To pay compound interest on this amount over a period of three years causes tremendous problems, and for that very reason it must be possible for the township developer to be able to start selling plots in the new township as quickly as possible. There are so many people who believe that the streets first have to be constructed, that sewerage and stormwater drains first have to be constructed before residential plots are made available to buyers. As far as I am concerned, these ential unnecessary extra expense.

There is the hon member for Houghton. In the whole of Houghton there is not a single “glyvoor” (slip conduit). In the whole of Houghton—one of the most beautiful residential areas in the country—there is not one “glyvoor”. On an ordinary plot in an ordinary township a “glyvoor” costs between R3 000 and R4 000 per plot. [Interjections.]


What is a “glyvoor”?


Now people say garages should not be built.


What is a “glyvoor”?


I do not know what a “glyvoor” is called in English. Please leave me alone when I am speaking Afrikaans. [Interjections.]

The important point I want to emphasize is that all these extras are unnecessary and entail unnecessary costs. Moreover sometimes unnecessary stormwater drains are dug. Here in Bellville they made me do something once; and then again in Durbanville. I think it cost approximately R120 000 to have stormwater drains installed there. When I went to the site six months later, cats were breeding in those drains; there had never been any water in them. [Interjections.] Nevertheless, I had to have R120 000 available for that purpose. Those drains have not been utilized to this day, simply because totally unjustified requirements had been laid down.

These long-term problems to which I have just been are mainly caused by unnecessary requirements laid down by people who stubbornly cling to the outdated idea that the development of a new township must take four to five years before plots are made available to buyers. The normal period which expires is seven years. Professional people have to work for up to seven years and people have to invest money before plots can ultimately be offered for sale. In the meantime, requirements are laid down, for example, roads first have to be contracted, stormwater drains completed and so on. In the same way as a person has the right to purchase a motor vehicle which does not put anything into his pocket by paying a deposit of 10% or less, there is nothing wrong in a person paying his first 10% or R5 or R30 as a deposit on a plot while he is still at school. We have legislation in that regard, but nowadays a young child may deposit an amount of R50 on a motor cycle and thereafter he has to pay 26% interest on the outstanding amount. He has the right to do that and the value of that vehicle continues to decrease annually. It decreases by at least 30% per annum but he pays 26% interest on the outstanding amount. There is no legislation to cover such cases, but let a person buy land! Then the question is posed: What are you doing?


Surely the hon member knows how things are in the south of Johannesburg where the roads are not tarred.


I do not think the hon member should enter a field about which he knows very little. The hon member is referring to pavements and other “glyvore”. In the 70 years preceding 1970, municipalities never tarred a road before 50% of the houses had been erected. I want to pose the hon member the following question: Does he know that with his present salary he cannot afford a house of R50 000?


You cannot afford it either.


Of course. I want to prove this to the hon member. I am speaking of all members of the House of Assembly. What is the present interest structure for buying a house? One must have an income of at least R35 000 per annum—that of hon members is only R34 000—to be able to afford a loan of R50 000. If one wanted the same loan in 1980 one would have paid R227 less. Nevertheless, even if one had done so, the building societies have developed a way of drawing up their own regulations. This means that even though one paid R227 less, the amount is now being increased and one now has to pay that amount of R227 as well. In 1970 the position was that the building societies could not increase their rate of interest by more than the 2% mentioned in one’s loan contract.

Mr Speaker, for the reasons I have mentioned, we in the CP are unable to support the motion of the hon member. I ask that all payments made in respect of a house should be tax-free. It has been proved in Germany that this is the most important factor in combating inflation. I should like to move the following further amendment:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House is of the opinion that—
  1. (a) the Government should take immediate steps to eliminate the large shortage of White housing, particularly among the lower income groups;
  1. (2) all monthly instalments paid for housing should not be taxable; and
  2. (3) persons of colour who occupy housing accommodation in White group areas should be removed from these areas so that the housing accommodation concerned will again become available to Whites.”

I should like to refer to the situation in May-fair. This is not the fault of the hon the Minister but here one Mr Dangor of Lenasia gave people notice prior to the area having been proclaimed an Indian area. People were given one month’s notice and then those poor old pensioners were evicted. For example, one old lady used to pay a rental of R62. All the people in that building used to pay R62. At present a poor old Coloured lady who came from Cape Town is living in one flat, but now they make her pay R200 per month. My voters, in order to be able to stay on in that building, are paying two to three times the amount they used to pay. They are under rent control, but nobody wants to act. I ask the hon the Minister to give attention to this matter. It is most regrettable that he has withdrawn the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Amendment Bill, which was item No 13 on the Order Paper for today.

When we discuss these matters it is in the interest of all people that we present a better housing programme. We can say the state and everybody should co-operate, we can say all kinds of nice things to one another across the floor of this House, but a definite plan has to be drawn up so that houses may be built for people in line with what they can afford. When the costs of services are determined, these must be in line with the possible burden the people can carry. The same applies as far as the term of such services is concerned.


Mr Speaker, the motion which is before us is a rather interesting one because there is no doubt whatever that the Government over the last few years has made a sustained effort to provide housing for the lower income groups, and that concern is in fact justified in respect of the provision of housing for the middle income groups. I do not believe, however, in spite of the efforts which have been made in providing housing for the lower income groups and the sustained efforts the Government has made at a certain level, that it is at a high enough level to accommodate the needs of South Africa. Further, it is no good having concern for a particular problem unless one can also include in one’s proposals some action which must be taken to improve matters. This is why I find myself in some considerable difficulty with the motion as it appears on the Order Paper.

I should like to make the comment—I know this may come as a surprise to the hon members of the PFP—that I think the speech made by the hon member for Sea Point was one of the most constructive speeches on housing that I have heard in this House for a long time. I know he might consider that as no compliment coming from me, but I can assure him I intend it as such because without doubt almost everything he said is factual and justified. I believe the hon the Minister knows perfectly well that the situation is such that much of what he said must be put into effect if we are going to arrive at some solution of the housing problem.

There was one aspect in particular raised by the hon member for Sea Point of which I took note and which I think must be given urgent attention, and that is the group of middle income people who are being suppressed into the lower income category. They are, in other words, becoming sub-economic. I can quote a case which was just recently brought to my attention. A pensioner, 74 years of age and with an income of R950 per month, has been living in a flat for 15 years. The flat just falls outside rent control and the pensioner and his wife just fall outside the protected group in terms of joint income. The rent is going up to such an extent that the pensioner and his wife are going to find themselves in an utterly desperate situation and are likely to lose the place through somebody buying it. The flat only a few years ago was not worth R15 000, but the owners have offered to sell it to them for R55 000. These people are in a desperate situation and they are the new poor, the people who a few years ago were sound, solid and healthily provided for pensioners. I therefore think that this is something that must be seriously borne in mind.

There are three or four primary reasons, as I see it, for our housing problem. The hon member for Langlaagte did raise certain of them to a point, such as the time taken and the costs incurred during that time of preparation. However, I think the real problem is that there is a shortage of available serviced land. I know the Venter Commission has gone into this and I assume the report will be available in due course for all hon members to study. I am not sure when it will be available to hon members, but I assume it will be shortly. This is one of the most vital points, because with the shortage of available building land the price of that which is available is being driven right up out of all proportion. Unfortunately local authorities, who are also owners of large tracts of land, are climbing on the bandwagon of getting the highest prices they can get. I can refer to Cato Manor in Durban, for example, where there are thousands of stands potentially available, but where they are releasing them in footling small numbers of 20 or 25 plots to get the maximum price for that land. What is the result? People who are desperate for land are going to pay any price almost to get that land now. Frankly, I believe the time has come for the hon the Minister to turn to these local authorities to tell them to get that land into the hands of the public and to get the prices down so that the public can pay for it. This is one of the things that must be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Frankly, I do not mind whether the people in local authorities do call the Minister an autocrat and say that he is poking his nose into their affairs, and I do not think the hon the Minister should mind either because he will get the support of the overwhelming majority of the population.

The next point I should like to make has also been made by other hon members, but it bears repeating and that is the question of the massive amount of red tape involved, the regulations, the forms and the number of people through whom plans of developments have to go. This again has been largely handled by the Venter Commission, but at the same time it is a question of urgency to get this thing off the ground. Get this red tape cut and see whether there are not means of producing these smaller housing plots mentioned by the hon member for Sea Point. Some of these local authorities are totally too autocratic in the sense that they will not accept sites below a certain size and will not allow one to do this or that. And yet here in Cape Town I have seen beautiful developments of which the plans would not even be allowed to reach the plan departments in a place like Durban and in some other local authorities. They have to be made to do a development job so that people can get houses they can afford.

A third point is the question of specifications for the actual land and the buildings. People are demanding too much. Town-houses going on the market today for R65 000 would not even have been acceptable as homes in South Africa 25 years ago. They would not have been acceptable. What are they? They are ruddy terrace houses the poor people used to live in in Europe many, many years ago, and yet they are coming on the market as something new, modern and what have you. They may have two bathrooms and a little bit of fancy work in the kitchen, but they cost R65 000. Get them down to the sort of prices they should cost, which is about R35 000, and then one might be talking in the language that people can manage to pay.

There is another point that really deserves thought. A minimum, not a maximum, standard should be set whereby the local authorities have to pass those plans. Sorry, one may call it autocratic if one likes, but they have had it their own way too long. I am sorry but certain of these local authorities are not playing the game.

Finally there is the question of the cost structure. We are suffering to a very large degree from monopolistic tendencies in certain aspects of the building trade, and here I want to refer specifically to the brick business, the cement business and the timber business. I suspect that it is time that an investigation into these trades and their monopolistic aspects be made because there is no doubt about it that people are paying the top prices and that artificial shortages are created so that people will pay premium amounts. There are also too few organizations in this business and I feel that one should look into this matter with some urgency.

In conclusion—unfortunately I have been afforded only a short spell in this particular debate—I would like to say that I had an amendment which I wanted to put, but I am perfectly satisfied with the amendment put forward by the PFP and we in these benches will support it.


Mr Speaker, we have listened to those hon members who have put their case here. I should like to indicate that I support the motion of the hon member for Bellville because I believe it is necessary to take a sober look at this important matter. I listened to the previous speakers, particularly to the hon member for Sea Point and the hon member for Langlaagte. It is very difficult to react to the hon member for Langlaagte if one does not have one’s calculator handy. He juggled figures to such an extent that one first needs an opportunity to work them all out. It was rather complicated and it is difficult to react to it now.

It is true that when an important problem is being discussed, the popular method, when there is such a problem at issue, is to look for a scapegoat, for the person who is the cause of the problem. Of course it is always convenient to point to the Government as the scapegoat. That is just what we expect from the Opposition. They will not give credit where credit is due. We accept that. Yet we know that the hon the Minister of Community Development and his department have very definitely made an exceptional contribution in this country in recent years in regard to this very important matter.

I want to confine myself primarily to problems which are being experienced by the middle income group, and in conjunction with what other hon members have already said, I shall try to identify the problem further by emphasizing the factors which contribute to a large extent to this problem. If one simply emphasizes the problem and does not offer a solution as well, it is not of much use. Housing is one of the most important stabilizing factors in a happy and well-balanced community life. However, it is also true that the housing shortage is a worldwide phenomenon. What is also important is that it is the young people in particular who are affected by this problem. The provisions of his own housing is in the first place a matter for the individual. It is of course true that the employer and the authorities can make a contribution in this connection. As another hon member has already remarked it is true that if the cost of housing is very high, this has a detrimental effect on households, and families suffer.

I should also like to discuss a few factors which contribute to the aggravation of this problem. I want to say that this portfolio is managed by an hon Minister who has had a great deal of experience and who faces up to these issues calmly and displays a practical approach. We have great appreciation for that. It is also as a result of his experience that he approaches these matters in a well-balanced way.

As far as the cost of housing is concerned, I want to emphasize a few factors which have given rise to these high prices. The basis of the problem as to why housing is so expensive is this: The demand for housing exceeds the supply. This applies to the purchase as well as the leasing of dwelling units. There is a steady decrease in the number of houses that are being erected. I want to quote statistics to confirm this. They apply to the year 1983. The number of house plans passed was 4 382 for August, 4 021 for September, 3 226 for October and 3 360 for November. Activities in the house building sector are expected to decrease by 4,5% this year. The demand for houses in the higher price category is being stimulated because some employers guarantee their employees a 100% loan and subsidize the interest on the house loans. In many cases the employees pay only 5% interest. I am not criticizing this approach. In fact, the hon member for Wit-bank advocated here that a greater contribution should be made to the provision of housing on the part of employers. However, the fact remains that this has created an artificial market for the more expensive houses in particular, a market which would otherwise not have been there.

The hon member for Witbank also advocated that employers should sell the houses to their employees and not merely lease them. This has already happened on a large scale as far as the mining industry is concerned.

The construction costs of houses show a steadily rising tendency. The expectation is that house prices will on an average rise by 10 to 12% per annum. It is people who know more about these things than I do who say this. The building methods and the materials used also determine the building costs. Some local authorities cling stubbornly to building regulations which allow only conventional building methods. In certain areas of the country it is possible to employ alternative building methods and it is possible to erect prefabricated structures at lower costs. For example, it is estimated that only 10% of the population of the USA is able to afford conventional dwellings. America is known to be a rich country. If only 10% of the inhabitants of that country can afford conventional housing, we can deduce what the situation in our country should be.

Next I want to refer to the policy of most of the building societies. The erection of houses other than brick houses, which occurs on a large scale in the overseas countries, is limited in South Africa as a result of the fact that most building societies refuse to grant mortgage loans on buildings of this type. This is a policy which one simply cannot understand. It is known that there are prefabricated houses which have been serving their purpose for 40, 50 or 60 years already. Why such houses cannot offer financial institutions the same security as a conventional house one simply cannot understand. This is another reason why this kind of house is not being constructed, or rather why no further houses are being constructed.

Then, too, there is the availability of mortgage loans. It is general knowledge that there is a lack of stability in the availability of mortgage loans from building societies today. This, too, should be remedied as far as possible. There ought to be a constant supply of mortgage loans.

Hon members have already pointed out the high interest rates. These cause high instalments which purchasers have to pay. The interest rate on mortgage loans was increased by a further 1,25% during November 1983.

Plot prices are also an important cost factor. During the past few years the prices of plots have soared. In certain cases one could call this appalling. In Pretoria and environs there are hardly any plots to be had in the R30 000 price category. This is also the case in most large cities. Why are the prices so high if, a few years ago, we were able to buy plots at R8 000, R10 000 or R12 000? There are various explanations for this. The most important of course is the fact that the demand is outstripping the supply. Hon members have already referred to this. The hon member for Umbilo also, justifiably, pointed out the long delay in the township establishment process. This matter is, however, now receiving attention.

An additional factor in this connection is that timeous planning strategies are also essential in order to achieve finality on land use. In many cases there are long delays in the planning process. Moreover, the costs of engineering services are very high. It is estimated that the standards of engineering services for the provision of water, electricity and streets are the greatest single cost items and that they vary between 40% and 60% of the total production cost of a stand. This is a huge proportion of the costs. Then, too, the plots are unnecessarily large and the services consequently more expensive.

I can also point to the high administrative and professional costs. The transfer of property, the registration of a mortgage bond and the payment of transfer duties come to a considerable amount. Municipal and property rates and service fees also increase the monthly obligation of the householder.

There is another very important factor as well. Estate agents say today that buyers, in spite of the present state of affairs, are still very selective. Buyers want at least a couple of bathrooms, wall-to-wall carpets and other luxuries. It is a fact that there is not really a market for the somewhat less luxurious house, and that is why people who build houses for speculation purposes or for the market do not have a market for a cheaper type of house.

Various reasons are being advanced for this problem, and hon members are apparently all concerned about the conditions prevailing in the sphere of housing today. This is a very important matter of national importance. It is also a fact that one should not merely talk about this matter, but that something should also be done about it. I am grateful to know that the hon the Minister and his department are also concerned about the matter and that certain steps have already been taken to alleviate the position. For a stable community life it is extremely important that people should have proper homes. This is in the interests of the entire community as well as the individual. This is one of our greatest problems, particularly in the economic climate in which we find ourselves. We know that the hon the Minister will do everything possible that can be done in this connection by the Government. To give proper attention to this problem, however, there must be a team effort. The State cannot be expected to solve this difficult problem on its own. I am convinced, though, that everyone who is aware of this problem, including the private sector, will do everything in their power to alleviate it, even if they are unable to solve it.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Welkom has shown that he shares the concern all the hon members who spoke today expressed for the need to provide housing as quickly as possible. It is indeed one of the Government’s priorities too.

To my knowledge the building regulations have been relaxed to quite a large extent by local authorities who have in the past accepted standards other than conventional standards. For example, timber housing is accepted by local authorities and building societies do grant bonds for this type of housing as well. Mobile homes are of course something different.

The hon member for Welkom said that the Government is being used as a scapegoat. This is not so. The Government is in the first instance responsible for the provision of housing for all sections in South Africa.

I support the amendment moved by the hon member for Sea Point. He has identified the serious problems in regard to housing, which in my opinion have created a crisis in South Africa, and he has called upon the Government, as I do, to introduce a comprehensive housing scheme.

I obviously cannot support the amendment moved by the hon member for Langlaagte because it is racialistic. It is based on the needs of the Whites only, and forgets the other population groups. It also refers to removals without providing adequate accommodation for those who are moved.

I appreciate very much the remarks made by the hon member for Umbilo in regard to the hon member for Sea Point. He has graciously shown his support for the amendment moved by the hon member for Sea Point, and we appreciate his attitude in this respect.

We are also grateful to the hon member for Bellville for having moved this motion in the first place. He is a man, as has been said, who is very concerned about the problem, and he does in a mild way chastise the Government in regard to the provision of housing because he does express his concern, and in doing so, he shows a measure of criticism of the provision of housing in South Africa today.

Because of the fact that housing is urgently required by all the population groups, it should be the first priority of the Government. It is essential that all people should have a roof over their heads, a permanent place to live in, because this removes the seeds of discontent immediately. It also gives one a feeling of belonging and security, and it can only bring about peaceful co-operation and co-existence.

The Government must, however, meet this problem head-on. In my view it has for far too long been pussy-footing around with the problem. Whilst making provision for housing on an annual basis, the backlog has been increasing. It is like a man who is forever trying to get to the crest of a wave, but never reaches it. I have no recent figures, but last year’s figures showed a shortage of approximately 160 000 units in the country. In last year’s budget the hon the Minister provided only R363 million for housing, or R30 million more that the previous year, of which he gave R24 million to the Whites, R131 million to the Coloureds, R25 million to the Indians, and R98 million to the Blacks. Perhaps the hon the Minister in the course of his reply will tell us whether he has been able to spend all this money. This amount has been provided at a time when some 60 000 units alone should be built, while by the year 2000 we will require something like 2 million units. The capital expenditure this will entail is in the vicinity of R1 200 million a year. So, how far are we going to get with the R363 million? Figures released in answer to questions in 1983 showed that 33 000 units were supplied, 27 000 of which were provided by the private sector. As far as Cape Town is concerned, figures show that the hon the Minister intended to sell some 500 000 units. I should like to know how those sales went. Figures in respect of Cape Town also show that 23 000 families were waiting for accommodation to rent, while 10 000 families were waiting to buy accommodation. All these families were earning between R200 and R300 a month. When these units are finally sold, they will be bought by people who will be earning R400 or more a month. If those people buy these houses, what is going to happen to the tenants living there presently, tenants who are still earning less than R200 or R300 a month? They will have to move out so that the new buyers can move in, but where will alternative accommodation be provided for them?

On the other hand, if those properties are simply going to be sold at a very low deposit and a very low monthly payment, it will be equivalent to the rent paid for that accommodation. That will mean that there will really be no change but that the sale will only be converted into a lease agreement.

Much mention has been made here today regarding the position of young couples. We all share the concern expressed in respect of young couples wanting to find a home of their own where they can live and begin with a family. The hon the Minister announced recently that he was going to give a 20% subsidy on interest to those people, subject, however, to a whole series of conditions. One of those conditions was that the property should not be worth more than R50 000. Another one was that the bond should not exceed R40 000. Furthermore it had to be a first-time purchase and the house had to be brand new. The hon member for Bellville, however, made the point, referring to the escalation of mortgage bonds, that the average mortgage bond amounted to R41 000 to begin with. Where is someone in the middle income group going to buy a house today at a price of R50 000? If one looks around, one will realize that properties are not available for below R60 000, R70 000, or even R100 000. Perhaps the hon the Minister can tell us whether he has had any success with these subsidies. Surely, if proper relief is to be given in this respect, the best recommendation is that all bond instalments should be made tax-free. That could well be an incentive. It could be a way of beginning to solve this problem.

I should like to turn now to the question of mass-housing projects. By that I mean the acquisition of land at a reasonable price in order by preconstruction methods to build an entire complex of 1 000 or more units simultaneously, the units being assembled on the building site. It also entails building methods that can be executed speedily. Even should the cost then prove to increase by 5% or more, as happened in Europe when such massive schemes were undertaken, it still does not matter because one ultimately eliminates the backlog. Because of inflation, concerning which the hon member for Sea Point and others raised very good points, costs escalate to such an extent that in the end the 5% is also wiped out.

The hon member for Bellville, following his visit to the USA, has recommended to us the very nice Ginnie Mae scheme involving subsidized loans, etc. Back in 1969 I also had the privilege of studying the subject of housing in the USA. In those days, prior to the Ginnie Mae scheme, there was the Stanley Mae scheme used by local authorities for providing housing. There were also other similar methods, for example, the so-called “turn-key” method. If the Government is prepared to work in co-operation with private enterprise, I should like to draw their attention to the “turn-key” method used in the USA, a method in terms of which private enterprise, in consultation with the particular local authority or other body involved in the provision of housing, finances and erects a complete letting unit—be it a block of flats or any other complex—and, once it is ready, turns over the keys to the particular local authority, which takes over the scheme and lets the available accommodation.

Then there is also the 24-hour method, which concerns the restoring and renovating of old accommodation. The tenants move out for a period of 24 hours while the inside of the building—it could even be a 30-storey block—is renovated and repaired, after which the tenants return, each to his own flat.

As far as sustained efforts by the Government are concerned, I submit with great respect that all these schemes are well known to the hon the Minister’s department. I introduced all these schemes to the Department of Community Development when I returned from the USA many years ago. I had a whole book on all those methods. What has happened, however? [Interjections]

We must, of course, also appreciate the fact that with the introduction of the whole system of share blocks and sectional titles, as far as letting accommodation for Whites is concerned the picture has changed. As a result of that letting, accommodation has become virtually unobtainable. I am not against it. I am not opposed to sectional title or share block schemes. If people own their own homes, it gives them a measure of security. However, we must realize that every unit that is purchased makes one less unit available for letting. The concept of the continued availability of letting accommodation is one in which South Africans have always believed. One may have lived in a big home and brought up one’s children there but, once the children have left home, one wants to retire quietly to a little flat. However, those days have virtually passed. These people are being harassed and forced to pay rentals they cannot afford. They have to live on capital that is being eroded by the falling value of the rand, by inflation and so forth, and they are having to struggle in order to sustain themselves.

There is, of course, an incentive for conversion to sectional title because enormous profits are being made. A few years ago a block of flats could be bought for, say, R400 000 and, having been converted to sectional title, it is now being sold for about R1,3 million. Obviously there is an incentive for people to do this sort of thing and to do it in such a way that taxation does not hurt them overly much.

In relation to this whole question of purchasing and letting, local authorities have to decide in favour of either letting or selling. This is an old argument. In the United Kingdom even if a man is a millionaire he can approach the local authority and claim municipal housing. The argument goes that, if a man sell his home, he no longer has it; if he does not have a home, he has to build one; and homes can never be built at the same price for which they were built 20 or 30 years ago and, because building prices are so high, one would never be able to obtain an economic rental.

Building costs have increased to such an extent over the past five years that letting has been made extremely difficult. The hon member for Sea Point referred to an increase of 74% over the past three years, and I have figures for the past 20 years that show that the increase in building costs has been 564%. I may perhaps discuss this matter in greater detail during the Budget debate.

Another point I wish to make is in regard to the Select Committee on which we sat, which heard a great deal of evidence and made recommendations outside of the contents of the Bill dealing with the leasing of dwellings. One of the recommendations that we made was, for example, the granting of a better tax incentive to developers. There was also the recommendation of making land available to local authorities for building purposes. Thirdly, there was the encouragement of the establishment of utility companies to provide buildings for housing purposes. Fourthly, there was the recommendation that local authorities be influenced to amend their town planning schemes in order to make building schemes more viable and ensure better returns. Finally, there was a recommendation that insurance companies that have at least R50 million to spend each day be allowed to go in for development schemes—shopping and residential schemes—which could be recognized in terms of the legislation as an acceptable asset for the insurance company. What, if anything, has happened in this regard? Have the Cabinet accepted these recommendations? Have they perhaps rejected them? What I am saying here has nothing to do with the Select Committee that is sitting at the moment. It has completed its inquiry in this respect and is awaiting the outcome.

There was a minority report in regard to a subsidy. The hon member for Bellville mentioned three alternatives. The Government can either build, or grand a subsidy, or enter into a partnership agreement with private enterprise. The hon member rejected the principle of subsidies. However, has the Government really rejected the principle of subsidies? I have just given the example of the 20% subsidy to young couples buying a home for the first time. In respect of housing for welfare organizations, loans are made over a period of 40 years at 1%. Subsidies are being granted all the time. The Government has never rejected the principle of subsidies as such, so why now is it shy about a subsidy in relation to letting accommodation? If a person in rented accommodation requires just a little assistance in regard to the difference between a market rental and what he can afford, why should the Government not subsidize that person and thus do away with all the arguments to the effect that landlords are subsidizing tenants? Subsidies are clearly recognized in France. People can live cheek by jowl with one another in a nice block of flats and one of them is being subsidized and nobody else knows about it. Why cannot we do the same thing here?

I also wish to refer to a report that appeared in The Cape Times of 21 June 1983 in which the hon member for East London was quoted as saying that a body would be established to build three million homes. He said that a corporation was envisaged, being a partnership between the State and private enterprise. Perhaps the hon the Minister, seeing that that hon member will not have a chance to speak now, will tell us what has happened to this project, how many houses have been built and whether the project has got off the ground.

Another method suggested by the hon the Minister was self-help homes for the lower income groups. The material will be supplied to them and they will be allowed to build. Again I ask the hon the Minister to tell us whether anything has happened in connection with this self-help scheme. Are the people involved able to build within their means?

I now want to turn to the important question of building societies. Firstly, I believe they should be allowed and encouraged to undertake development schemes with residential accommodation for letting. Much criticism has been levelled, again by the hon member for Bellville, criticism which I share, at the high increase in interest on mortgage bond rates over the last three years. I think he mentioned 7%. I do not know why he does not persuade the hon the Minister of Finance to use his powers in terms of section 42 and 44 of the Building Societies Act. He should use his powers in terms of section 42 in association with the Association of Building Societies to curb that rate of interest on mortgage bonds. He should also use his powers in terms of section 44 to vary the actual proportion of the loan in relation to the purchase price. Figures show that 69% of loans go to financing the sale of existing houses, and, according to an economist, only 28% to acquiring new houses. If the proportion could be cut to 55% for existing stock and raised to 35% for new houses, it would put 10 000 units per year on the market. The remedy therefore lies very much in the hands of the hon the Minister of Finance.

The hon the Minister of Community Development raised the question of a housing data bank because he found that immediate compatible information and statistics on housing and on the backlog in housing were incomplete and unscientifically based. Perhaps the hon the Minister who raised this issue when his Vote was under discussion will be able to tell us whether any progress has been made.

Mention has been made today of township development. Here again, I trust that the recommendations made by the commission will serve to reduce the red tape as well as counter the delays, thus offsetting the high interest rates and the accumulation of capital and funds available for this development.

In the last instance I want to refer to the Black population. Although they are getting 99-year leases and much progress has been made in terms of the Bill passed a little while ago, this is still no substitute for freehold title. Freehold title is necessary because it will encourage building societies and other financial institutions to grant loans to Black people since building societies and other financial institutions are prepared to grant loans where there is freehold title as opposed to a 99-year lease. I am not even sure whether all building societies are granting loans to Black people in respect of 99-year leases. Once the Black people are allowed freehold title, all discrepancies and discrimination will be eliminated and we shall be able to encourage the provision of homes for the Black people which are so sorely needed.

In conclusion, we believe that, although the Government is trying to keep up, it is not covering the backlog, and in the circumstances we stand by the amendment moved by the hon member for Sea Point.


Mr Speaker, I want to convey a very brief word of thanks to the hon member for Bellville for the appreciative attitude which is displayed in the first part of his motion. This House and I are indebted to him for the fact that he introduced this motion in order that an opportunity could be created for a thorough discussion of a subject which is very important to each one of us in this House and to everyone outside.

Unfortunately, I cannot reply individually to all the questions that have been asked here by hon members. The hon member for Hillbrow asked at least three questions in every sentence of his speech. He can go and count for himself how many questions he asked. I shall try, in the time available to me, to cover most of these aspects, or as many as I can. To all the hon members who have participated in the debate on the motion I want to convey my sincere thanks for the knowledge and the attitude which they displayed in their speeches on housing. All the hon members without exception on all sides of the House made good speeches, speeches in which very stimulating ideas were expressed, ideas which the department will investigate very carefully, because the department does not claim to know everything about housing and the provision of housing. We are eager to learn, therefore, and we learn not only from members on this side of the House, but also from the knowledge of hon members on that side of the House. That is why I wish to convey my appreciation to all the hon members who have participated in the debate on this motion in such a positive spirit today.

Mr Speaker, it surprises me, that hon members on all sides of the House have concentrated almost exclusively on White housing today. I shall cover a slightly wider field in my reply. The contributions of all hon members dealt only with the provision of White housing, except the speech of the hon member for Hillbrow, and there it was only an afterthought. When it comes to White housing, I want to make it clear that I honestly do not believe that there is such a shortage of White housing. As the hon member for Sea Point and other hon members said, it is more a question of people looking for housing which is within their financial means. When people come to our department or write to us for assistance with regard to housing, they very clearly intimate that they are not without accommodation. However, they are looking for cheaper accommodation in accordance with their income. Of the Whites who are on waiting lists, 99,9% are people who do have accommodation, but who are looking for cheaper accommodation. The hon member for Sea Point put it this way: “A house that he can afford.”

Because of the rise in building and maintenance costs, rentals keep rising, too, and the tenants eventually find that they can no longer afford the rentals. Therefore they look for cheaper accommmodation. With regard to people who are having houses built for themselves, the money for housing loans is in short supply, and on top of that it is so expensive that the man in the street cannot afford it. This is so. Therefore I cannot argue with hon members about these matters. As regards the personal loans of 90% provided by the department, these have also become insufficient, because the limits of the loans are unrealistically low in the light of the cost increases that have taken place. Therefore I shall just have to ask the National Housing Commission once again to reconsider the income and loan limits in the light of the rise in the cost of building, so that adjustments can be made in this connection. At the same time, I want to ask them—I want to hear whether hon members agree with me on this—to consider accepting the principle of taking the family income, instead of the income of the breadwinner only, as a basis in considering housing assistance. It is felt that 50% of the wife’s income or of the income of the other dependents in the household should be taken into consideration in deciding on the housing assistance that is to be provided.

The department has limited funds available, and it is very easy for hon members on the other side of the House to say that money should be taken from other departments and spent on housing. Where should we take the money from? Should we increase the price of bread by another 6 cents? They must just tell me where we should cut down. Could they give me just one example?


You could cut down on all these things you are doing at Magopa and on the whole process of consolidation.


Mr Speaker, this is not additional expenditure, but a way of economizing. We are trying, within the means of the department, to provide the maximum number of houses. The hon member for Sea Point asked me how many houses were being built. Over the past five years, we have built 154 430 dwelling units for lower income groups at a cost of R1 862 400. Of course, this does not include the houses provided by the SATS, the Department of Posts and Telecommunications, other State departments and public corporations, but only what has been spent on housing by my department. The hon member for Hillbrow referred to subsidies. Over this same period of five years, my department has provided between R600 million and R700 million for the subsidizing of housing, in order to bring it more or less within reach of the less well-to-do.

Because we realize that the housing requirements of Whites cannot easily be satisfied by self-building and self-help projects, I announced a very imaginative housing scheme for Whites towards the end of last year, on which we shall be spending R200 million in the course of this financial year and during the next financial year, which will enable us, we hope, to wipe out completely the backlog in White housing.

The hon member for Sea Point also asked—he presented this as an important point—whether we were doing enough to provide accommodation for the elderly and other less fortunate persons. The hon member for Witbank has already pointed out that South Africa is the country in the Western world in which the greatest percentage of the White population is accommodated in homes and institutions for the aged. We have spent R40 million on welfare housing over the past year, and we hope to spend another R60 million during the coming year. Therefore we are spending R100 million on this over a period of two years. We simply cannot afford to spend more in this country. In fact, I think we are already going a little too far.

What makes housing so expensive in this country? Hon members have pointed out certain factors which I agree with. Apart from the rising costs and interest rates, inflation has also played a role. The first factor, to which other hon members also referred, is the scarcity of building plots. This is one of the major factors contributing to the high cost of housing in South Africa and keeping it out of reach of the lower income groups. This applies not only to the Whites, but to all population groups in this country. In this field, a backlog has been built up over the years which is creating serious problems for us today. I want to state quite frankly that this is the result of a major deficiency in housing planning in the past, when the department’s policy was based on a different approach. In recent years, however, we have been doing everything in our power to set the matter right. Over the past year we have spent R100 million on the provision of land and infrastructure. During the present year we plan to spend an equal or perhaps a larger amount on making plots available which will be within the financial means of our people.

It is true that at certain strategic places, especially as far as Coloureds and Asians are concerned, there are simply no more plots available for building houses. Although we are making progress, however, we are still being hampered by a backlog, but with the help we are getting from the private sector these days, we are making rapid progress and making up the backlog.

What makes housing so expensive in South Africa? Another factor is the process of township establishment which applies in South Africa today. Hon members have pointed this out quite clearly. Because of the complicated, time-consuming, expensive and frustrating processes of township establishment, most small private township developers have left the business, as the hon member for Langlaagte rightly indicated, especially after there had been a number of bankruptcies. Because of the cost aspects, the private township developer can no longer afford to put plots on the market today which he can sell to the man in the street.

In order to deal with this major and pressing problem, the Government appointed the Venter Commission, as hon members know. The hon member who was chairman of the commission is sitting in this House today, and he, other hon members of this House and members of the provincial councils did very good work. On behalf of the Government I want to convey our sincere thanks in public here today to the hon member who was the chairman of the commission. The commission published three reports. These are being processed at the moment and will soon be released. The second report—the most important one—is virtually finished and will be distributed within a few days. I have already had talks with the Administrators of the provinces about the rapid implementation of the commission’s recommendations. We now have these recommendations, but they will mean nothing unless further action is taken. When I received the reports, I immediately sent copies to the Administrators of the provinces and told them that I wanted to have talks with them. I did have talks with them at the beginning of the year, for most of the recommendations, and their implementation, lie in the field of the provinces. I believe that if the commission’s recommendations, in terms of which the processes of township establishment will be a great deal simpler, quicker and cheaper, are implemented, we shall be able to market building plots more rapidly at prices which the man in the street can afford.

Another factor which makes housing expensive is the standard of services. The standard of services which is prescribed today and which is in some cases enforced by local authorities is absolutely unrealistic, as the hon member for Umbilo said, and is making it simply impossible for the ordinary man to afford a house. Last year, my department furnished the provinces with guidelines concerning the provision of engineering services in residential townships, and told them to ask the local authorities to implement these on a voluntary basis for a trial period. Now I intend to propose to the Administrators within the near future, when the Housing Policy Council is sitting, that the norms which are contained in these guidelines, and which are now being implemented by some local authorities on a voluntary basis, should be made compulsory for all local authorities. If we implement those norms, I think we are bound to effect an enormous saving in respect of these services, which, as the hon member for Langlaagte has said, are an important cost factor in the provision of plots.

Allow me to quote an example. During the course of last year, 61 934 new dwelling units were built in South Africa at a cost of approximately R2 800 million. Therefore the average cost of a dwelling unit was around R45 200. However, when these figures are analyzed further, we notice that 23 560 of these houses were built by the National Housing Commission at a total cost of approximately R200 million, ie at an average cost of R8 500 per unit. Compare this with the 38 374 houses built by the private sector at a total cost of 2 600 million, ie at an average cost of R55 000 per unit. When the National Housing Commission imposes limits with regard to the standard of services and the buildings themselves, this simply proves that it is possible to economise and that we can in fact provide cheaper housing for the people in South Africa.

A housing show is to be held in Pretoria soon. I shall invite those hon members who are interested in housing matters to attend it. We have asked eight building contractors to carry out a project in Garsfontein. All the houses are designed in such a way that they can be added on to at a later stage. The houses will demonstrate what can still be built for R40 000 in today’s circumstances. It can be done. We hope to show hon members how on that occasion.

I come now to a few other aspects. Hon members wanted to know from ne what progress was being made with our new approach to housing. The hon member for Sea Point proposes in his amendment that a comprehensive housing strategy be formulated. We are long past that stage. The hon member spoke about many things which the department has been implementing for a long time. We formulated a housing strategy early last year. I say in all humility that I believe that South Africa has never had a more comprehensive strategy for the provision of housing than we have today. Now we just have to be positive and to co-operate and see whether it can succeed. We must not start thinking of other formulae so soon, just after we have started. We should talk less and do more. Hon members are fully entitled to ask whether we have made any progress over the past year and what results we can show. My answer is that things are going very well indeed. In many respects the results of this new strategy are exceeding our expectations. My time is limited, unfortunately, but I just want to refer briefly to a few of these matters. One of them is the attempt to involve housing utility companies as an instrument to help provide low-cost housing. Since the Good Hope Conference, we have helped establish no fewer than 15 utility companies in South Africa. So far, we have invested a total amount of R16,5 million as initial capital in these companies. Although many of them are still in their infancy, some have already marketed good products. I am thinking in particular of one of the older ones in Durban, which has built a project consisting of 171 houses which it is selling at between R32 000 and R47 000 per unit. I am delighted with the progress that has been made in that connection.

How successful have we been in involving the private sector? We began approaching these people a little more than a year ago to become partners in the provision of low-cost housing in particular. In non-white residential areas everywhere we are finding today that financial institutions, building societies and employers are providing housing. Houses are even being built for speculation in the normal way in certain residential areas, which serves to stimulate the property market in the areas concerned. I have some very interesting information in this connection, but I am afraid that time does not allow me to discuss it in greater detail. For example, one of the well-known banks bought 150 plots in Ennerdale in a Coloured group area. Before construction of the houses had begun, deeds had been signed for 70 houses within a week, and the bank came back to buy another 200 plots. The Natal Building Society is developing 1 000 plots in Lenasia South, and they will eventually make loans available to Indians to enable them to buy the houses. Two other well-known building societies are rendering large-scale assistance on the East Rand, in the Orange Free State and in Soweto in providing housing loans for Blacks. I also have a long list of employers that are involved in this process, including a chain store and an employer in Richards Bay that have spent thousands of rands on the provision of housing for their workers. This is something which was completely unknown in the past. In the past, the State had to finance these institutions in respect of the provision of housing for their workers. Now there is a different approach. I could mention some more examples. I announced in Bloemfontein last year, for example, that we had persuaded a large consortium. LTA/Co-meat, to finance and build 40 000 to 50 000 houses within the next four or five years. The department lays down the priorities as well as the standards of the housing.

It has also been alleged that there is always a serious shortage of funds for housing at the building societies, and the question has been asked how we can meet that need. A consortium of financiers has now come forward which is prepared to start a fund of at least R250 million to deal with this problem. In this way, they will enable the building societies to have enough money available for building loans.

I could mention some more examples in order to show that we are involving the private sector in the provision of housing and that they are enthusiastic and keen to contribute their share. In order to keep the private sector informed, we send them a regular newsletter from the department. In addition, a special committee has been formed on which organized commerce and industry, as well as Coloured and Indian management committees, are represented. The problems that are still being experienced by the private sector in participating fully in the provision of housing in non-White residential areas in particular will be resolved by this committee, and they will recommend to the department what additional steps should be taken in order to give the private sector the maximum share in the provision of housing.

A question has also been asked in connection with our sales effort. It is one of the most impressive ever undertaken in South Africa, and among the non-Whites in particular it is greatly appreciated. It has been asked what progress is being made with this sales effort. We have already fixed the prices of 400 000 out of the 500 000 units, and I learned this week that in Durban, houses worth R40 million have already been sold. Some difficulties were experienced with the project at first. We had problems, for example, in connection with surveying and township establishment. We did what the hon member for Langlaagte wanted done. The department has established its own townships over the years without paying any attention to the local authorities. In other words, we have been taking a short cut. Now we have townships on our hands, however, that have never been formally established, and we want to sell the houses there, but we cannot give transfer. That is why I shall shortly be introducing an amendment to the Housing Act in which I shall give the Administrators the right to take a short cut when I want to establish such townships and to declare the townships as having been established, so that I may give transfer to buyers of houses.

So we have made progress in every sphere. Sir, and we are taking dynamic action, in partnership with several institutions, to deal with this major problem in the country.

Business suspended in accordance with Standing Order No 34 and motion and amendments lapsed.

The House adjourned at 17h30.