House of Assembly: Vol112 - THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 1984


laid upon the Table the Report of the Select Committee on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act, reporting that the Committee had been unable to complete its inquiry.

Report and proceedings to be printed.


laid upon the Table the Third Report of the Select Committee on Rent Control, reporting that the Committee had been unable to complete its inquiry.

Report and proceedings to be printed.


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a Third Time.

Mr Speaker, I am not going to make a long speech. However, since we received the news today that the gold price was moving upwards and has exceeded the margin of $400 per fine ounce, and because it is clear that there is great deal of interest in the gold market and, of course, in the possible further upward movement of the gold price, I deem it appropriate to exchange a few thoughts on this subject very briefly.

†Mr Speaker, in November 1983 I was asked to address a very large international conference in the USA. I was asked to talk on the international events that were likely to affect the gold price. What I said then at the very beginning is I think very relevant here today. I said then that there had been a time not long before when any one of a number of alarm signals would have sent the gold price spiralling upwards. The shooting down of the South Korean airliner, which had just taken place; the escalation of the fighting in Lebanon; the crisis of confidence in Hong Kong; the prospect of the IMF running out of cash—which was a very real prospect at the time—the apparently insoluble problem of massive Third World debt, and the invasion of Granada, which had also just taken place, all those, I said, were factors that had presented themselves in quick succession and they had all failed to generate enthusiasm in the gold market, which they undoubtedly would have done a year or two before. I also said that since gold was a speculative commodity as well as a store of value it needed to perform. I added that, as everybody there evidently knew, the gold price had of course of late been in the doldrums.

In my view the relative weakness of the gold price during the past two years or so has been the success achieved by the USA and some of the other major industrialized countries in curbing inflation and in restoring confidence in the US dollar and in one or two other currencies. This has given rise to what one might call a sea change in attitude towards inflation. During the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s gold clearly outperformed all currencies as a store of value or as a hedge against inflation, and indeed as an official reserve additive. During the last two or three years, however, the US dollar and certain other major currencies have undoubtedly temporarily outperformed gold in this respect.

The position at the moment is that the total production of gold, which is relatively stable in the short run, is something of the order of 1 400 metric tons a year. It obviously changes a little bit from year to year, but that is about the order of it—1 400 metric tons a year. Of that mining production accounts for about 1 026 tons. Russian sales have been low during the last year or two. So I have included them only at 72 tons. At times they are 200, and even 250 tons a year. In the last year or two they had been very low. Then there is the secondary supply of gold. That is where people disload jewellery or even coins, or where they scrap old equipment containing gold in the electronics industry and sell it. That secondary supply of gold is something of the order of 300 tons. That leaves a total of 1 409 on those figures. Of that South Africa produces something over two-thirds—between 66% and 68% of the grand total.

When one looks at the price of gold, however, the decisive factor is demand, and it is the changes in demand that sets the price. The demand consists of various things. The most important by far is what is called a fabrication demand, ie the demand for industrial purposes. The biggest user there is the electronics industry. Then there is also the dentistry industry and the jewellery industry. On the figures that I have obtained from various sources it appears that the industrial demand accounted for about 130 tons; dentistry, 56 tons and jewellery, 697 tons, which makes it the biggest demand. The total fabrication demand is 883 tons.

Then there are the official transactions, which include gold dealings on a limited scale by the IMF among member countries but particularly by central banks. The net position there reflects a negative figure of 50 tons altogether. Then there is another important item, and that is the net private investment—the investment demand mainly by individuals. That, on my figure, is 576 tons. So if one adds the fabrication demand, the official transactions and the net private investment demand, the figure comes to 1 409 tons. So one balances the total supply and the total demand.

Now, Mr Speaker, what about the financial year which is ahead of us, the next 10 or 12 months? What is the foundation for gold, let us say, in 1984? What are the major elements in the situation? First of all, I think, the prospects of continued economic expansion, particularly in the USA, is a clear factor. If the world economy really begins to move upwards, when recovery really sets in to a significant extent, it must affect the fabrication demand; give greater confidence and affect the aggregate demand for gold. Then there is the fear of an acceleration or, let me say, a repetition of inflationary pressures that we have seen so often in recent years. In the world today, especially in industrialized Western countries, inflation is low. In some countries it is of course very, very high. There is, however, a nagging nervousness in the world as a whole, and particularly among the experts in the field of gold, that we may possibly be facing an acceleration in the inflation rate, even this year again, in various countries. That nervousness ironically is good for the gold market. If people are afraid of inflation and its downward effect on currencies, they tend to move into gold, and that strengthens the demand.

Then another very important factor is the future movement of the US dollar. The US dollar has of late been exceptionally strong. That has been the main reason why gold has been relatively weak. Many people who would normally invest in gold have been tempted rather to invest in first class securities in respect of which real interest rates are high particularly in the United States with a very strong currency. However, there is a feeling in many quarters today that the dollar is undoubtedly overvalued and that at some point—there is a considerable feeling that this could happen within the next few months—the United States dollar is definitely going to decline to a more normal level and that will obviously be a very good factor for gold.

Fourthly, there is the point I mentioned yesterday, namely the continuing problem in the International credit market of the world—the huge indebtedness of many countries that owe huge sums of money and whether the world banking system can really absorb and stand the strain of this indefinitely. This is a very big worry. Unless that problem is solved significantly very soon, I would think that that would also be a positive factor in respect of the gold price.

I suggest, Sir, that in these four elements lies the future movement of gold. These factors are likely to provide the foundation for a recovery in the demand for gold, especially the fabrication demand, in the months ahead and, at the same time, will create a more hospitable environment for investors. The actual path traced by the price of gold during the next 10 to 12 months will be affected by the perception and anticipation of market participants in regard to these four decisive considerations, and the development or evolution of the supply/demand balance of gold. When we have regard to the fact that over the past year the fabrication demand for gold—this is by far the biggest element in the whole price situation—has been weak—in fact, from the latest figures it now appears as if the fabrication demand for gold last year actually declined by 20% which is a very substantial decline—we realize just how important a role the fabrication demand for gold plays in regard to the gold price. For instance, the Italian manufacturers of gold jewellery, which is the biggest jewellery manufacturing industry in the world, have been running down stocks and have also been looking for substitutes like palladium and platinum and so forth. However, as they say themselves, the fact remains that when all is said and done the people who have really been accustomed to gold, holding and buying gold, constantly come back to it. It is just a question of time and they will want gold again. It would appear to me that the fabrication demand must improve. One cannot continue running down stocks because eventually one’s stocks become completely depleted, particularly if the world economy starts moving up. With the American economy definitely recovering this would appear to me to be most likely prognosis although the recovery process is taking much longer than one would like to see. I believe, however, that the bottom line in the year ahead will undoubtedly mean a revival in the price of gold. All I say is that we must not expect it to take place tomorrow. There will undoubtedly continue to be short term fluctuations because, apart from anything else, speculators are continually entering and leaving the market thus affecting the daily price. If we take the position over the next 10 months I personally would be extremely surprised if the gold price has not recovered and, who knows, perhaps even quite significantly over its present level.


Mr Speaker, the hon the Minister of Finance …


Where is Harry?


Perhaps I should say right at the outset, Sir, that unfortunately the hon member for Yeoville is indisposed. He is unwell and is unable to be here.

The hon the Minister of Finance has given us a very interesting analysis in respect of the performance of gold. I think the hon the Minister will agree with me that the factors that he identified as playing an important role in the rise and fall of the gold price underline the fact that no government anywhere in the world, including this Government, can claim any responsibility or large scale credit for the price of gold. Obviously, however, we are pleased that there has been an increase and I am sure that we will try to exploit it to the best of our ability. It would in fact be foolish of a Government…


Or take the blame.


Yes, exactly. What the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning has said reminds me very much of that old saying of the American politician that any government that wants to take credit for rain must not be surprised if it is blamed for drought, and to a large extent the same holds true for the performance of gold. Obviously we are pleased with the hon the Minister of Finance and the Government that the gold price has increased.

*We on this side of the House have often said in the past that when the Government comes forward with positive initiatives and developments which we believe are in the interests of South Africa, we shall not hesitate to support and congratulate the Government. I think we have such an opportunity now.

I think the present breakthroughs we have managed to accomplish in respect of our neighbouring states, the initiative with regard to Mozambique, is something that has seized the imagination of the country, and I believe it is something which is leading us into a new and exciting era in which there is a great deal more hope for peace in this part of the world. It would be petty of us not to congratulate the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his colleagues, as well as the competent advisers assisting him in these circumstances and to wish them well in the difficult negotiations awaiting them in the future.

By saying this, we are by no means suggesting that our problems in this part of the world have been solved, but I believe that we have made a very positive beginning. It is imperative that we should have breakthroughs so that we can have peace, since I believe that we cannot afford to give attention to problems on our borders and in respect of our neighbouring states whilst we have a tremendous internal problem which will require our time and energy. In fact, the more resources, money and energy that can be released to assist us in giving attention to our internal problems, the better.

I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to tell the hon the Prime Minister and the Government that we support these initiatives and that we shall do nothing on our part to jeopardize them.

I want to come back to a speech the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning made in the House last Friday which I found particularly exciting and stimulating. I see that Dr Wimpie de Klerk wrote at the weekend that there are now three main streams in our politics: The so-called integrationist course of the PFP, the course of association, a direction in which the NP is increasingly moving, whatever that may mean, and the partition course of the CP. If we study this carefully, however, we see that these three streams all form part of one central debate in South Africa, and I believe that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning put his finger on that central debate last Friday. That is the debate on domination.

I want to enter this debate again at a later stage, specifically next Friday when we discuss a private member’s motion on discrimination, and discuss the relationship between domination and discrimination, but at this stage I just want to clear up a few points touched on by the hon the Minister because I believe it will assist us in conducting a better debate when the opportunity presents itself.


Of course I will be able to react to that more easily then than I can now.


The hon the Minister can react then. I shall not have much time at my disposal on that occasion either. The hon the Minister said:

I think we must decide on what we agree about so that we can also obtain clarity on what we disagree about.

That is precisely what I want to do in the few minutes I have at my disposal, as a prelude to that debate next week.

I think the hon the Minister summed up the central question in this way, and I can find no fault with it: Self-determination without domination is both desirable and possible in South Africa. I think we all agree that it is desirable, but the question is how it is going to be possible. How have the various parties attempted to find a solution to the relationship between self-determination and domination?

Since I am discussing the problem of domination, I want to say at the outset that it is not a problem which is unique to South Africa. There are also problems with regard to domination in other societies. Let me mention Syria as an example. President Assad is the leader of the Alaweit and they constitute only 11% of the population of Syria. Yet the Sunneit are dominated by the Alaweit minority. The method President Assad uses to overcome the problem of domination and to suppress rebellions against him is a great deal more brutal and crude that anything that has ever happened in South Africa. For example, in 1982 the majority began to rebel in the city of Hamma and after unsuccessful attempts had been made by the army to suppress the rebellion President Assad had no hesitation in sending aircraft over the city to kill between 30 000 and 40 000 people with napalm. We have never experienced anything similar in South Africa, and God forbid that it should ever happen here. Mr Speaker, I am merely mentioning this to illustrate that problems of domination also exist in other societies, and that when I refer to domination in South Africa, I am not pretending that we are the only people in the world who are guilty of domination. The problem, however, is that we have to find a solution to our problems here in our own way. The CP also acknowledges the problem of domination. When the hon the Leader of the CP introduced his motion last Friday, he said that his party also wanted to get away from domination. However, if we take note of the solution they have come forward with, I honestly have no choice but to reach the conclusion that their solution is really a perpetuation of the problem they want to get away from. In other words, it is not possible for the other groups to live with the quality and extent of the self-determination the CP claims for itself. There is no way in which that kind of self-determination, in its quality and extent, can be made available to the other groups in the same way.

It would seem to me, however, that the Government, through the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, realizes that we have a central dilemma here and that we must get away from the situation in which the Whites claim self-determination for themselves at the expense of the other groups. I read the hon the Minister’s speech, and then I went back to the PFP’s policy document of 1979, and I found that the Minister is adopting standpoints today which we adopted as far back as 1979. I do not want to score points off the hon the Minister, but he said:

That is why the question which is fundamental, which is central, … still remain … 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.

In its policy document of 1979 the PFP said that in the South African context the problem could be defined as follows:

Assuming that the majority of Whites wish to move away from White domination or could be persuaded to support such a move, how can they be reassured that such a move would not eventually lead to their own domination?

Consequently, this is the same problem the hon the Minister tried to identify. It is the same definition of the problem. Let me quote a further point the hon the Minister made here, viz: “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.” The question in the PFP’s policy document is:

The question that remained was: How could this best be done without predetermining the nature of groups in South Africa or inhibiting the individual’s voluntary association with a group?

That is where we disagree.


Precisely. What I am trying to illustrate is, as the hon the Minister himself has said, that at least we now have clarity on what we agree on so that we can be clear about what we disagree on.

I want to lay down certain guidelines regarding these differences, which could serve as a basis for discussion; so that we can decide on how we can move away from domination and what the nature of this debate should be. I think there is a new dimension in the debate on this matter, and consequently we need not necessarily always be talking past one another, but at least we can identify the problem in the same way. The hon the Minister says that the requirement he sets in moving away from domination, in the attempt to see whether we can differentiate other groups, is the requirement of justice, not the requirement of absolute self-determination which, as the hon the Minister said, is the CP’s problem. How can we move away from domination in a just way without replacing it with another form of domination? I think this is a very valid question. In fact, I think it is the only really fundamental constitutional debate which should be conducted in South Africa. In this regard I want to present three criteria to the hon the Minister. These criteria are not policy measures. They are not PFP policy or any other party’s policy, but criteria against which we can test the requirement of justice when we look at politics, the economy and at the social spheres of our society.

Let us take politics. The requirement one has to set here is seeing whether we can move away from domination and whether our measures are succeeding in bringing this about, is the question of accountability. It is no use our creating constitutional or constitutional-legal models in terms of which we have a situation in which one group takes decisions that fundamentally effect the chances of survival of other groups without the other group being in a position to call that one group to account. This is a tremendously difficult problem. As long as we have a situation in which, for example, this Parliament can pass laws, draw up budgets and take steps that actively influence the chances of survival of other people without them being in any position to call this Parliament to account, we are going to have the problem of domination in the constitutional sphere. This is the requirement we must set for ourselves. Then we can begin to compare measures and see how we can move away from this problem. For example, then we can look at the decisions that are taken here which effect the lives of Black people whilst they are not in a position to call us to account for those decisions. This applies to the Coloureds, the Indians and even to the Whites if it comes to that. This is the requirement we must set for ourselves in the political sphere.

In the economic sphere the test we have to set for ourselves is the test as to whether individual freedom exists, and when I speak of the principle of individual freedom, I do not deny the existence of groups. At the economic level, however, it is not a group that works for its bread, but the man or the woman, ie the individual.


Do you agree that there is a difference between the constitutional and the economic spheres?


Undoubtedly. We could have a look at the other possibilities, and I shall come back to that next week. At the economic level I am of the opinion that it is a question of individual mobility. Does any person, in relation to another person, no matter what group he belongs to, have the same opportunities to seek employment, does he have the same opportunities to acquire a home; does he have the same opportunities to alienate or acquire property? This is the requirement, a requirement we cannot ignore, since the other groups measure themselves against us. This is the requirement we must set for ourselves in the economic sphere if we want to move away from domination.

We should also reflect on the criterion we are going to apply in the social sphere. We are not the only ones who are going to apply this criterion, viz whether there is equal access to necessary services provided by the State; other groups are going to do so as well. It is not a question of whether we think that is adequate. The other groups who are dependent on the services provided by the State measure the degree of the existence of domination by the way in which they have access to those services in comparison with Whites. This concerns housing, education, welfare, etc. That is why I have stated from the outset that one of the dilemmas facing the Government is that it has bound itself to a housing programme which is impossible to implement. There is no way in which this Government or any other government can build houses for all the people in South Africa. If the State creates that expectation the Coloured, the Indian and the Black man is going to measure his housing aid against the aid the Whites receive from the Government. They are going to ask why they are not also able to obtain such houses from the State, and if they cannot obtain them, they will say that they are being dominated in the social sphere.

I do not have the time now to develop my argument any further, but I believe that these three criteria of individual mobility in the economy, equal access to State aid in the social sphere and accountability in politics enable us to weigh up one another’s programmes to see to what extent we meet the requirement of justice when considering how we can move away from domination. What I find encouraging, however, and I want to concede this to the hon the Minister and the Government at the outset, is that in my opinion there are signs of a new style in the approach to this problem, that there is a new awareness of the necessity for politics of negotiation and that we shall have to negotiate at all these levels, viz economic, social and political, in order to see how we can get away from this problem. Since I am speaking about politics of negotiation, I want to make the point that we can only negotiate if we know that the people with whom we are negotiating are credible and enjoy the support of their various communities. This is also contained in the proposals of the Select Committee on the Constitution in which it is stated that negotiations must take place with the acknowledged and accepted leaders of the various communities. If we do not do that, we are negotiating in a vacuum. In order to be able to do so, however, we must come back to the central problem of politics of domination, viz the freedom people have to choose their leaders to negotiate in their interests at the community and local level. If they do not have that freedom, we can never know that the people with whom we are negotiating have the support of the people they are supposed to be representing.

I therefore come back to the problem of where there is a basic difference between the Government and the official Opposition, viz the question of group differentiation. We believe that if, through the voluntary association of people, we do not permit them to identify on a voluntary basis, we will always be in trouble when we have to enter into politics of negotiation. In contrast, the Government believes that they can only move towards politics of negotiation from a situation of one-sided group identification. I believe that we shall have to discuss and argue this point very earnestly with one another in order to find a solution. As long as the Government continues to compel people to participate in groups on a certain basis, we can never know whether the programmes have the support at social, economic and particularly at the constitutional level, of the communities who, just like us, are interested in moving away from domination.


Mr Speaker, I want to say at the outset that one welcomes the attitude the hon the Leader of the Opposition displayed today. The reason for this is that at least he wants to see whether he can find a proper basis for debating this matter of domination. At the conclusion of his speech he referred to the major difference between his party and this side of the House. He said that the question of group identification is the major difference between his party and this side of the House, and that is true. We see the South African situation as follows: That there are different groups and that it is no use trying to achieve the impossible and ignore reality, since there are, in fact, different groups in the country. Only when the hon the Leader of the Opposition faces this reality will the political debate in South Africa become meaningful.

On the basis of his requirement of justice—what is fair and what is right in South Africa—the hon the Leader of the Opposition laid down certain criteria. If ever there was a matter that has given this side of the House a great deal to think about and plan, it is surely the necessity to have a just and fair attitude in South Africa. The whole idea behind separate freedom, self-determination, behind independent development, is, in fact, to do justice to every group in South Africa. The hon the Leader of the Opposition asked who would account for all these things we are trying to do in South Africa. I maintain that it is impossible to account for this unless one has structures and ways of giving every population group and every people in South Africa the opportunity, firstly, of having its own institutions so that one can comply with the principle of accountability to which he referred. The hon the Leader of the Opposition is seeking the true leaders of these people. The structures that have been established over many years, however, have created an elite group of leaders so that our group of leaders from this Parliament can speak to those people and negotiate with them so that we can have an even better dispensation. This cannot be accomplished unless one creates those structures. However, all we have got from that side of the House on every occasion was opposition to this plan to create real structures.

The hon the Leader of the Opposition is now seeking answers for us. However, with a view to the referendum, the PFP had a video made of a discussion that hon gentleman had in which Pat Rogers put questions to him.


What was the matter with you, Pat?


No, it was not the hon member for King William’s Town. That Pat would not put questions to him.

The Press was invited to watch and to listen to the replies that hon gentleman gave. The following question was put to the hon the Leader of the Opposition during that interview:

Erken u dat die eindresultaat van u beleid sal wel ’n situasie kan wees waar die meerderheid van diegene wat die hefbome mag hou, Swartes kan wees?

His reply was:

Dit is moontlik dat die meerderheid van die mense wat aan die Regering deelneem, Swartes kan wees …

Apparently this would be the case if one looks at the population composition. He says it is inevitable and one has no choice but to draw that inference. The hon the Leader of the Opposition therefore admitted that the final result of his policy is that the majority in the Government would be Black people. The hon member for Houghton also made it very clear in the referendum campaign that her policy …


Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member? If the confederal dispensation between South Africa and the Black states were to come into being and this were to become the form of government, would the majority participating in it also be Black?


The hon the Leader of the Opposition should really not be so naïve. Surely he knows that a confederation is an association of free independent states. However, he advocates a federal government for the whole of South Africa, a federal government in which the majority will be Blacks. Any decisions will also be made by the majority. If this is not his policy, I want to know whether he disagrees with our policy of creating separate states and having separate freedoms. Does he disagree with that?




Very well, if he disagrees with that, his policy aims at creating one central government, regardless of whether it is a federal government or something else. Then his idea is that the majority in that government will be Black people.

The hon the Leader of the Opposition told us that he was wrestling with the problem of how to get away from domination. Here he is creating the possibility of Black domination, however. He objects to White domination, and I object to it, too. However, we certainly do not want Black domination in its place. The hon the Leader of the Opposition …


… is cleverer than you are.


From an academic point of view he may have wonderful theories, but if there is one thing most of us have learnt, it is that we in South Africa have developed a certain pattern, viz to decentralize power and authority to the various groups and peoples in the country, and no matter what the hon the Leader of the Opposition does, he can never change that approach in South Africa.

If the hon the Leader of the Opposition had told us today that he accepts the pattern we have created and that he is prepared to co-operate with us within this framework, and if he were to ask how we can get various peoples at the southern tip of Africa to co-operate so that we can get the maximum economic potential out of this part of the world, how we can achieve the maximum degree of peace and maintain the maximum number of civilized standards, he would have a case. However, simply to tell us that he is concerned about the question of domination and not to do anything to remove that domination which is incorporated into his policy, too, is meaningless, nor does it achieve anything.

Despite our economic interdependence we in Southern Africa remain multinational. We are a country consisting of different minorities. We cannot reason that way. Those minorities must be protected. We must make provision for the self-determination of the different peoples. We must create the structures for this, and that is what we are working on. Continual provision must be made for vertical differentiation. The division of power between various peoples and groups is indispensable to healthy relations and good neighbourliness here at the southern tip of Africa. We live beside each other as communities. Everyone is happier if we are prepared to do that. In addition, we are prepared to co-operate as equals—the hon the Leader of the Opposition and his party must accept this—on matters of common interest. This is the fundamental idea behind confederal development and a constellation of States. The idea of a confederal system or a constellation of States is indispensable in bringing about the greatest degree of co-operation between the various groups and peoples. Nothing will make this side of the House deviate from that course.

The choice is very clear. The hon the Leader of the Opposition is not giving us a difficult choice. His choice is one of an integrated society, a non-racial society, in which there is no difference and no differentiation between people. The political parties in South Africa who adhere to that standpoint cannot make a meaningful contribution to the debate on relations.


Mr Speaker, I shall not react to what the hon member who has just resumed his seat had to say. It seems to me as if he and the hon the Leader of the Opposition are virtually in agreement as far as policy is concerned. However, the two of them can continue this discussion.

We are very glad to hear that the gold price has reached $402 and I do not think anyone will be more pleased about this than the hon the Minister himself.

I also want to associate myself with what the hon the Minister said yesterday in connection with the Land Bank. I am very glad that the hon the Minister broached this subject because I feel that the attack on the Land Bank and the decision that had been taken was an unsavoury incident.

I want to apologize to the hon the Minister for the fact that the hon member for Soutpansberg cannot be here this afternoon. He is visiting the drought-stricken areas to ascertain what assistance he can render there. [Interjections.] Yesterday evening the hon Minister spelled out quite clearly what assistance had been rendered to the Soutpansberg constituency, namely R13 436 000 during the past nine months. [Interjections.] I appreciate it that the hon the Prime Minister is here because I should like to say a few words to him. We are very grateful for the R13,4 million which has been spent in the Soutpansberg constituency. The whole of South Africa appreciates this. The hon the Minister said that this amount was for the constituency. It may look as if this amount was spent in every constituency in the entire country. But the hon the Minister of Finance did not even mention all the assistance that had been rendered. In one year R103 000 was allocated for irrigation.


What is it you want to say to me? I have work to do: Please say what you want to say to me now.


Since the hon the Prime Minister has work to do, I shall speak to him at once. I want to refer to a meeting he held in Tzaneen on 8 February, which was reported in Beeld. I listened to a taperecording of the proceedings of that meeting. The report in Beeld read as follows:

Mnr Botha het gesê hy het verlede jaar gesê hy sal mnr Fanie Botha verdedig ongeag die gevolge. Die mense wat die beskuldigings teen mnr Fanie Botha gemaak het, kon ’n komitee van ondersoek aangevra het, maar hulle het dit nie gedoen nie. Hulle het ook nie ’n klagte by die Advo-kaat-generaal aanhangig gemaak nie. “Daarom het ek gesê ek sal my Minister verdedig.”

[Interjections.] Surely the hon the Prime Minister is aware of the fact that last year on 26 April the hon member for Brakpan moved a motion here and requested that this House appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate this matter.


Parliament rejected it.


The hon the Prime Minister now says that Parliament rejected it, but in public he said that a committee of inquiry could have been requested, but that that had not been done.


You people surely spoke a lot of rubbish and did not prove a thing.


We did ask for a committee of inquiry. In spite of this the hon the Prime Minister said in public that we could have asked for the appointment of such a committee, but that we did not do so.


You did not make out a case, and you could not do so either.


The hon the Minister clearly said that we could have done so, but that we did not do so.


You did not submit any evidence which this Parliament deemed would justify the appointment of a select committee. [Interjections.]


The official Opposition even proposed that a judicial inquiry be held.


There is an Advocate-General you could have applied to.


Parliament cannot decide to reject something like this before there has been an investigation. Anyone accused of a crime—whether it is theft or anything else for that matter—cannot expect a court to find him guilty or not guilty until there has been a hearing.


You must raise this matter on a subsequent occasion, when we can discuss it properly and reply to it adequately. We cannot argue about this now.


Mr Speaker, I thank the hon the Prime Minister very sincerely. I greatly appreciate it that he remained here to listen to me. [Interjections.]

I should now like to deal with the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs: The hon leader of the NP in the Transvaal. Unfortunately he is not present this afternoon. However, it does not matter. What I am going to say now, I shall in any case bring to the attention of the hon the Minister again at a later stage. If possible, I shall ensure that he gets to see my Hansard. In his speech the other day here in this House the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Transvaal leader of the NP, made several wild statements. What did he say? He said inter alia—and this was addressed to the hon member for Soutpansberg—that he sympathized with him because he had had to build his political career on the foundations of false propaganda concerning the policy and aims of the Government, that he had had to build it on the support of a former arch-enemy like Mr Jaap Marais, and that he had had to build it on the foundations of character assassination after he and his party had kicked a man who was already down. In the fourth place he said that the hon member had had to build his political career on the foundations of the exploitation of a natural disaster.

I want to put it to the hon the Minister that not one of us in this party has exploited a natural disaster. I believe everyone in South Africa probably sympathises with people who are suffering because of the natural disaster. Last year I pointed out that in the budget R48 million less had been budgeted for aid to those farmers than in the previous year, although at that stage more than 100 areas in South Africa had been declared drought-stricken areas. I asked the hon the Minister why this was the case. I then used his reply to my question in meetings which I addressed prior to the by-election in May last year. I even proved by means of documents that this was in fact the case. I had a photocopy in my possession which I obtained from the Department of Agriculture, and from which it was apparent that that decrease had occurred. We therefore did not gossip or peddle stories. At that early stage already we were asking for additional provision to be made for those farmers. Whether it occurs in an urban or in a rural area, a drought of that magnitude is and remains a disaster. The same applies to floods of course. These are things we never lost sight of.

The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs also referred to character assassination. He should tell us when we committed character assassination. He also accused us of kicking a man who was down. If it is true that we are kicking a man who is down when we ask for a commission of inquiry to be appointed, or for a judicial commission to be appointed, what other course is open to us to ensure that a person who has committed a crime in South Africa is tried? What course remains open to us if the accused simply resigns from his position and walks out? If, for example, I were to steal a sum of money from my employer, and were then to resign and walk out, should they simply let me go? Should I simply be allowed to leave. This would seem to be the case. If they then wanted to prosecute me, all I need say is: “No, now you are kicking a man who is down.” [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, would the hon member for Sunnyside not agree with me that if he wanted to institute legal proceedings against a person who had allegedly stolen something, he would have to lay a charge of theft beforehand? What prevented him from laying such a charge? [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, we are merely asking for an investigation. When a person commits a crime, the matter has to be investigated by the police.


This is another cover-up.


Yes, it is just another cover-up. This entire matter has been covered up. [Interjections.] When Mr Etheredge made his original accusation and even submitted his speech, in which he made the accusation of corruption and malpractices, to the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs beforehand, what was the reply the hon the Minister gave? He said: “Go and tell the police.”


Well, why did you not do so?


No, Mr Speaker, in cases where allegations of this kind are made, I believe that they should be investigated immediately. People should not try to run away from this. [Interjections.] No, the Government should not try to cover things up. [Interjections.]

The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs also said that as a White party the NP unashamedly supported White interests and the maintenance of established White rights. I want to ask whether this White Parliament is an established right, yes or no? No other right which the Whites have is more established than this White Parliament. What are we going to get now? This White Parliament is going to disappear and will only constitute one House in the new Parliament.

The hon the Minister went on to say:

Die herroeping van alle kwetsende diskriminasie bly ons gestelde doelwit wat ons ywerig sal nastreef.

We should like to know from the hon the Minister: What is hurtful discrimination? He has to tell us this. In whose eyes is it hurtful discrimination? Is it in the eyes of the Whites, the Coloureds, the Indians or the Blacks? Is there any aspect of apartheid or separate development which they would say was not hurtful discrimination? Is there anything which they would say was not hurtful discrimination? According to the hon the Minister all these measures will therefore have to be abolished. [Interjections.]

I can understand that the hon the leader of the NP in the Transvaal is in trouble. He is the man who said a little while ago: Make the people despondent. Perhaps hon members do not know about that conference, but it was held on 15 January 1983. [Interjections.] I have it here, i.e. “Die Nasionalis aan die werk”. He said: Make the people despondent. The hon the Minister made his supporters in Soutpansberg so despondent that they all joined the CP. I want to ask the Transvaal NP to keep the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs as the leader of the party in the Transvaal because he is a tremendous asset to the CP.

What else did the hon the leader of the Transvaal do? I want to refer hon members to what happened a few years ago. The hon the leader of the Transvaal tried to get money out of big business. The Sunday Times came out with the story on 27 June. The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs smiled very broadly when he told big business that they wanted between R3 million and R5 million to break the CP. The hon the Minister asked big business for that sum of money to break his fellow Afrikaners and in the same breath he said that they stood for all White rights.

We in the CP feel great sympathy for the hon the Minister of Finance as far as the future budget is concerned. According to a report in Die Vaderland of 21 February Sanlam allegedly said the following in its economic review:

Belastingverhogings is onafwendbaar. Dit sal moet kom. Doeane-en aksynsbelasting sal verhoog word en ’n toeslag van plus-minus 7% op maatskappye word verwag. ’n Belasting op byvoordele word ook verwag.

They went on to say that the inflation rate for January 1984 was 12,3%. They also referred to the GST and the higher bread price.

What did the same edition of Die Vaderland go on to say? It said:

Die hotelbedryf is op sy knieë sê die buro vir Finansiële Analise van die Universiteit van Pretoria. Die gemiddelde kamer-en bedbesetting volgens syfers van die Buro vir Finansiële Analise het onderskeidelik 60% en 47% beloop vergeleke met die laagste vlakke van 61% en 48% wat in 1978 aangeteken is.

When hotel occupation drops like this, this is one of the first signs that there is no upswing in the economy.

On 27 November of last year Dr Fred du Plessis, an economist who knows what he is talking about, predicted that the upswing might come and he also said that this year the growth-rate might possibly be 2%. He went on to say:

Die land kan aanstaande jaar tegnies met 2% groei. Landbou alleen behoort hierin ’n groot rol te speel nadat die droogte die teenoorgestelde uitwerking gehad het.

That was on 27 November when things looked promising. We had good rains in December. I agree with him. I cannot see how our economy can experience an upswing until 1985. In this connection we also have to bear international trends in mind. The hon the Minister of Finance spelled out the position to us yesterday. Today I want to predict that South Africa is entering a difficult period. Other matters should not be introduced. The hon the Prime Minister spoke about clean administration and we should not try to cover things up now. Everything should be brought out into the open so that everyone knows what is going on.


Mr Speaker, I listened to the hon member for Sunnyside and as is typical of the hon members of the CP, he tried to paint a fairly sombre picture. It is true that we have to be realistic about the economy and conditions in the country. If we paint an exceptionally pessimistic picture, we could, psychologically, bring about a situation which is worse than is necessary. For that reason I do not believe it is necessary for us to be quite as pessimistic as the hon member for Sunnyside.

During the Second Reading debate the CP made quite a few blunders. If they had been genuine mistakes, one could have pardoned them, although one would have expected these gentlemen to have checked their facts before making any allegations. If they were deliberately misleading people, it was reprehensible behaviour. Whatever the reason may have been they still have a chance to put matters right in this debate and they can apologize.

In the first place I want to refer to the allegation about the nursery schools and other institutions in Randburg in regard to which they tried to imply that the amendment was concerned with admission. Reference has already been made to this matter, but what I actually want to say about it is that the hon member for Soutpansberg, who is not here today, should straighten out the matters with his voters. Some of his voters sat here and listened to their hero telling his story. I believe it is his duty now to go back and tell them that he gave the wrong information.


He is their knight in shining armour.


Yes, he is a knight in shining armour, as the hon member said.

The hon member for Sunnyside has already referred to this and has backtracked a little in connection with the constituency of Soutpansberg which was supposed to have been treated so shabbily. This afternoon he did in fact, by implication, express his thanks for the assistance which has been given to Soutpansberg. The voters of Soutpansberg also heard here that their constituency had been treated so shabbily. I think it is the duty of the hon members of the CP to inform them about the real state of affairs.


One should really ask that his speech on Soutpansberg be published in Die Patriot.


Yes, that is a good suggestion from the hon Minister.

The other day the hon member for Langlaagte dramatically produced a can and poured out the liquid. I must say that, like a conjurer he looked triumphantly at his audience, both upstairs and downstairs, after he had deftly performed his trick. To his consternation however, he found out later that his story had no substance.


You are talking nonsense. You read Naas’s old story and he knows less than you do.


The hon member for Langlaagte is a very loquacious member of that party.


Why do you hate the consumer so?


The hon member for Langlaagte says so many things that have no substance. I do not hate any consumers, but I do not think it is necessary to say the kind of things that the hon member for Langlaagte said here when they bear no relationship to the facts at all. He illustrated the wrong story here; it had no scientific foundation. The hon member knows that.


Elaborate on your statement.


It is funny how a person reacts when one touches on one of their sore spots. The hon member is virtually hysterical now.

Transport is an integral part of the economic life of any country. The way in which this important facet of economic activity is used, has an important effect on economic and financial conditions. One is therefore right in assuming that any factor which is detrimental to service or which impedes its productivity, will be projected in the budget. That is why I want to express a few ideas today in regard to the general speed limit on our roads, which is a factor here.


Have you tested it?


The general speed limit of 100 km per hour, which was laid down by regulation in terms of the Petroleum Products Act of 1977 … [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, it is clear to me that the hon member for Langlaagte is not satisfied with the several contributions he has made to the debate. He did not make an impression with them. Now he is trying to do so by means of interjections. But he is merely making a noise because no one is listening to what he is saying.

A speed limit was originally introduced with the object of saving fuel. At present its object, for the most part, is probably to save foreign exchange. Because fuel consumption is greatest in our cities, it can be accepted that the speed limit of 100 km per hour does not lead to a great saving of fuel. [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member for Jeppe must please stop making interjections now. Interjections, if they are crisp and to the point, are sometimes appreciated. However, the hon member’s interjections do not fall into that category.


Mr Speaker, I doubt whether the actual saving in fuel brought about by the prescribed speed limit of 100 km per hour is of much value. It is also a fact that only a small number of drivers at present obey the speed limit on the freeways in our country. The fines applicable to contraventions of this measure are heavy. I do not want to use the word “excessive”, but in comparison with fines for other contraventions they are very heavy, and frequently drivers are rather unhappy about this. Moreover, it is realized that officials who have to apply this measure by means of speed traps have an unenviable task. The general public will accept a punitive measure of this nature when they are convinced that it is in the interests of the country. However, when the public is under the impression that a measure is no longer all that important, it causes irritation. Of course I am not condoning the contravention of such measures by the public, but this does happen in practice. I do not think the hon the Minister of Finance has any misgivings in this connection because the money collected by way of fines is not of so much value that it would make a difference if the measure were abolished. That is why I am asking that consideration be given to abolishing the measure and delegating the task to the provincial authorities.

Every provincial administration is aware of the condition and safety standards of the roads in its area and is also aware of the traffic patterns on the various routes. A speed limit can therefore be meaningfully determined and applied—one that is deemed safe for a specific road.

The general speed limit applicable under the provincial road traffic ordinances was 120 km per hour. At the time, however, this ordinance was replaced by another provision in the Petroleum Products Act.

It could perhaps be argued that a higher speed limit would lead to greater danger on the roads and would have a detrimental effect on road safety. I maintain that the opposite is true. There is no scientific proof that speed is in fact a cause of accidents. I maintain that the difference in speed between light vehicles and heavy vehicles is a safety factor. If there is a greater difference in the speed at which the various types of vehicles, are allowed to travel, there is greater safety with regard to the movement of vehicles. In addition, this will give rise to shorter travelling times and drivers will be less irritated and tired. Businessmen will also get more work done. If there is anyone who doubts this argument of mine, I want to state in all earnestness that I wonder whether there is anyone sitting in this House who obeys the speed limit of 100 km per hour at all times. I would rather not ask.

What is the situation abroad? The following speed limits apply abroad:

110 kph in Denmark and Sweden 120 kph in Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy and Portugal 130 kph in Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and France 90 kph in Poland and Russia.

There is no speed limit in West Germany.

I really believe that the general public would greatly appreciate it if the present speed limit were abolished. I think it would be to everyone’s advantage.

It may perhaps be argued that the present economic climate and other factors are such that one should not advocate such a matter now, but I am doing so because I am absolutely convinced that the abolition of the present speed limit would have no adverse effect. Hon members of the CP who were so loquacious a while ago, would not have much interest in this because a tortoise could never exceed this speed limit, now could it?


Mr Speaker, I found the speech by hon member for Welkom rather interesting where he discussed the question of the speed limit. It always amuses me that when we have a crisis the media and the powers that be are all brought into force to convince people to accept certain ideas in the national interest and that when circumstances change we get speeches such as the one we have had just now, trying to justify a reversion to such things as the previous speed-limit. The hon member said that he does not feel that the lower speed-limit is saving any fuel, because people are travelling in excess of that speed-limit anyway. We can of course criticize our law enforcement authorities if that is the case. I think that what has happened is that the pressure is off South Africa as far as the shortage of fuel is concerned. The hon member and others who speak the way he has done are saying that we should raise the speed limit again. However, I do believe that the lower speed limit has been a major contributor towards a lowering of the rate of utilization of fuel. It is common sense that the faster you travel, the more fuel you use per unit of distance travelled.


There is no scientific proof that it makes a substantial difference.


Oh, please! That hon member says that there is no scientific proof that the faster you travel, the more fuel you use per unit of distance travelled. I want to assure him that that is what will happen if the hon member succeeds in having the speed limit raised. Another advantage of the lower speed limit was the reduction in the accident rate, as well as the degree of injuries suffered as a result of those accidents. This means that there were two major advantages in lowering the speed limit.

I am not, however, totally against what the hon member for Welkom has said. I like the idea which he has put forward that it should be left to the provincial authorities to decide about this. The hon member comes from the Free State, which is as flat as a billiard table. [Interjections.] That is why he can drive a Porche. I, however, come from a very hilly province where the roads are not as straight and flat as they are in the Free State and the Porches which come down our highways—especially Fields Hill—thinking they are in a Le Mans grand prix often end up on the adjacent railway line. The point I want to make is that if there has to be an increase in the speed limit, it has to be considered very carefully as to exactly where these high speeds should be allowed. I agree that where one has a beautiful freeway and long distances to travel and where the economic factor comes in—especially with long distance heavy duty haulage vehicles travelling in the Free State, parts of Transvaal or even Natal—there is some justification for higher speed limits. But we will no doubt be discussing this matter again during the Transport debate.

I was interested to hear what the hon the Leader of the Opposition had to say this afternoon. We could have more debates in this House to try to find some consensus on some very important issues. The hon the Leader of the Opposition said that in trying to find a new constitution we need to make sure that domination and discrimination are eliminated. He asked if self-determination without domination was possible. The hon member for Johannesburg North said by way of an interjection that there could be majority rule without majority domination. The question I would like to put to the PFP is if majority rule without domination is possible.


Put it to the Government.


No, it is that party’s policy which I am discussing. Is majority rule—which will be the result of PFP policy in South Africa—possible without domination? I regret this very much because I prefaced my remarks by saying that I hope we could have a discussion of these issues and come up with a decent answer to the question. I say that PFP policy—and I say it very carefully—will eventually lead to majority rule as we see it elsewhere in Africa and will also lead to domination. [Interjections.]

I want to come back to the Part Appropriation and what the hon the Minister of Finance had to say in reply to the Second Reading debate.


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


No, I am afraid I do not have enough time.

We in the New Republic Party give credit when credit is due, something which the PFP does not do. In the case of the hon the Minister of Finance and what he had to say in his reply to the Second Reading debate, I give him his due. The improvement in the current account and the balance of payments has been considerable and we appreciate this because we believe in balanced budgets. He has reduced inflation from a high, as he said, of 16,5% in December 1982 to 11% a year later and to 10,3% last month. We in this party believe, however, that inflation should come down to 5% or 6%. That is the target which we believe should be set. If the hon the Minister succeeds in the coming year as well as he did last year, I believe it is possible that the inflation rate could be brought down to 5% or 6%.

I was pleased, too, that he raised the matter of South Africa’s debt load, the debt-service ratio being only 5,75%. I think that that is very excellent indeed. We appreciate that very much. So we give him credit in that particular regard.

I should like to say to the hon the Minister that, when making his speech, he is inclined to take all the credit for himself, or for himself and his party, for the Government. I should like to put it to him that it is not only the Government which creates the right atmosphere for this sort of sacrifice to be made. That is surely what this Parliament is all about. I sincerely hope he takes notice of what is reflected by this side of the House.

Consider the position if we just had to listen to what the PFP have to say. They believe in spending money. They believe in spending it on subsidies on bread, transport and housing. They do not believe in raising GST to pay for these things. The hon member for Yeoville said we must borrow. If the hon the Minister were to listen to that Opposition party, South Africa would go down the drain as Mexico and other countries have done. We in these benches have, however, always called upon the Minister to pull in the belt when we were in a tight spot. If the public want things like subsidized housing, that is what must be done. I am going to talk about subsidization just now. If that is what the public really want, they must be prepared to pay for it. The official Opposition make great demands that the Government should give, give, give. They have the “gimme” mentality: “Gimme, gimme, gimme!” However, they do not want to have to pay for it. They are prepared to let the nation go into debt.

During the hon the Minister’s reply, he threw a challenge at me. He said that I had said that South Africa was living beyond its means and should adopt tougher fiscal measures. He went on to say that this must mean raising of taxes. I quote him: “So let us hear what taxes must go up”. I want to put it to the hon the Minister that “tough fiscal measures” do not only concern revenue, but also expenditure. I am sure that the hon the Minister will agree that the two go hand in hand. What we have, however, been saying is that in the conditions in which South Africa finds itself at this stage, if the public of South Africa are expected to pull in their belts, so must the Government. The hon the Minister has said there is certain expenditure which he is unable to meet, for example expenditure on defence. He has found a lot of excuses why his Budget had to go up by 5%. I believe that, if he had gone to all his colleagues and told them to pull in their belts to the extent of that 5%, perhaps he would have been able to balance his Budget without having to find another 5% in taxes. That is what the people in the private sector have to do and it is what the housewife is doing today, faced with the problems she is facing. That is what all the workers who have been laid off have had to do. They have had to pull in their belts. So it does not only concern revenue, but also expenditure.

When it comes to revenue, I believe the hon the Minister must have a good look at the present tax structure in South Africa—I know that this is being done continuously. The hon the Minister asked which taxes should be raised. We in this party would prefer to see lower income tax and company tax. That is why we are in favour of greater indirect taxation. In this regard we agree with Margaret Lessing, the chairman of the Consumer Council. Surely that must mean something. She said that GST is a good way to raise taxes.


On foodstuffs too?


Yes, on foodstuffs too. Why does the hon member not read what Mrs Lessing says?

We believe that there needs to be a greater spreading of the load of taxation. The system should not allow a wide scope for tax dodgers. We believe our tax system is being grossly abused by certain people. We have heard during the debate of how companies are getting away paying very little tax.

The one tax that I want to stress this afternoon is the fringe benefit tax. I believe the fact that people are getting away with fringe benefits without paying tax on them is one of the major reasons why South Africa is overspending at the present time. I want to make the statement that the absence of a fringe benefit tax has turned South Africa into a nation of extravagant spenders. Let us look at housing. I believe the tremendous increase in the price of houses is to a very large extent due to the billions of rands in subsidies that is being pumped into housing. The figure for the Railways alone is R1,5 billion. I had a discussion with a banker recently and was informed that senior bank personnel—not the top managers—receive subsidized loans of up to R140 000 at an interest rate of 3%. This means that such a person is having a tax-free advantage of R23 800 per year. If one adds that amount to his income of, say, R50 000 per year that tax-free fringe benefit alone is worth almost 50% of his income. Those of us who served on the Fringe Benefits Tax Commission know what we heard. I see the hon member for Edenvale is nodding his head. We have heard of instances where 70% of the gross emoluments of some people is in tax-free benefits. This means a man could be earning a gross emolument of R100 000 per year but only pays tax on R30 000. The terrible thing about this is that a pensioner or someone who saves all his life and retires on an income of R30 000 per year has to pay the full tax on R30 000 per year while someone who earns R100 000 per year is getting away paying the same amount of tax.

We are a nation that spends hundreds of thousands of rand on houses. May I digress for a moment and say to the hon the Minister, as far as the accommodation of the manager director of the Land Bank is concerned—I was on the Select Committee and heard all the facts—that I do not believe that his residence is out of line. I should like to appeal to the Press in this regard and to ask them how much they have paid for their own houses in recent times. One must remember this is the Managing Director of the fifteenth largest financial institution in South Africa.

I have referred to houses, but one can also think of motorcars, entertainment allowances, etc. My time has run out unfortunately but I can quote a lot of other examples. We have been turned into a nation of extravagant spenders because it is tax-free. If the hon the Minister wants more taxes, there is a source of revenue which I suggest he gets on to taxing as soon as possible.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Amanzimtoti left us with certain very interesting ideas that I am sure the hon the Minister will have a look at in the course of time. I do not want to react to specific arguments of his, although I shall be referring to him, too, in the course of my speech.

I want to refer, in particular, to the speech of the hon member for Sunnyside who, one can say, made two impertinent statements here. Firstly he said that the Government should have budgeted for the drought. I would very much like to know from the hon member whether, for the main budget to be submitted in March, he would furnish an input for the droughts yet to come. Would he be able to indicate to us how much we ought to budget for that, when we ought to do so and where we should borrow the money to make provision for such unforseen circumstances?

The hon member also made certain statements and allegations in connection with irregularities which supposedly took place and are now being covered up. Since the Second Reading we have repeatedly had to listen to the vague accusation that there are things that are being covered up, and I think it ought to be put on record that there are channels through which the hon member can request an investigation if he has any knowledge of irregularities that are being covered up. By means of the Police or the Advocate-General he can have further investigations carried out, or if he has any facts at his disposal he can even stand up in this House and make such irregularities public. In my opinion, however, making accusations in such vague terms is the conduct of lesser men.

When one listens to the speeches of hon members on the Opposition side, one sometimes asks oneself: What is the use of a budget debate of this nature. With the climax yesterday, when the hon the Minister concluded the Second Reading debate, one was persuaded anew that listening to a budget debate of this nature is indeed worth while. The debate brought to the fore certain highlights that made it worth while. Firstly one was brought to realize again, very clearly, that the financial management of the country was in good hands. [Interjections.] The strong and sound conditions prevailing in our economy, and the sharp decrease in the inflation rate, attest to this fact. There are the reassuring signs in regard to the balance of payments and, what is very important, there is also the fact that foreign investors evidence so much confidence in South Africa that they are prepared to invest in the country. It is also very important to note that few, if any, really practicable, workable alternative proposals in regard to the budget were forthcoming from the Opposition.

Another point that came strongly to the fore—today, too, during the Third Reading debate—was that the governing party has been given an opportunity to expose very effectively the political malpractices of certain of our political opponents, and I am referring, in particular, to the speech of the hon member for Randburg.

A third aspect that is not revealed in this whole discussion, something one would not actually notice, which would not normally strike one, is that with the low gold price during the past year or so we must come to realize that South Africa cannot always depend on gold as our foremost foreign exchange-earner and, hand in hand with that, as a source of revenue for the State by way of the taxes levied on gold mines. The cost of mining gold is constantly increasing, and if the gold price were to decrease to a level of $300, there could be certain gold mines that would no longer be economical and would have to be subsidized again, and if this were to go hand in hand with a drought or flood disaster, such as we have experienced recently, the pressure on the finances of the State would become tremendous. That is why there is not only a great deal to learn from the low gold price, for the drought we have experienced should also be a lesson to us, because although gold is a great earner of foreign exchange, it is also true that under normal circumstances agriculture is also a tremendous earner of foreign exchange. That is why our future appropriations will have to be so geared as to make the protection of agriculture as such a much higher priority, and also, in particular—in the light of the drought and the lessons to be learned from this—the protection and utilization of our country’s water resources which are, in any event, relatively limited. When one takes note of the lessons embodied in our present situation, I believe that we shall come to realize that we shall have to look for alternatives for gold. We shall have to think of intensifying and extending our search for oil. We shall also have to think of stimulating our industries, so as not only to provide for our local needs, but eventually to make South Africa a net export country too.

In addition I want to point out that the hon the Minister of Finance must find it a particularly stimulating experience to be at the helm of the finances in this developing economy of ours. It is only too true that even his sharpest critics credit him with carrying out this task of his with great distinction.

Even if we do all these things, however, and even if we take all the lessons to heart, there is still one very important thing left, and that is that all our efforts would be futile if productivity levels in this country remained unchanged. The private sector and the public sector can fling recriminations to and fro at each other, but it is nevertheless true that in our country a situation has developed in which people, particularly in management positions, are no longer prepared to maintain the degree of supervision that their positions actually demand of them. Today it has become so easy to enter the inefficiency of employees and the inefficient employment of resources as a cost factor in the price of the product that is eventually sold. This does not only apply to the private sector; there are also certain spheres in the public sector that are guilty of this. Here, in particular, I think the Government perhaps has a responsibility to try to correct the situation. The Government should ensure the people in management positions are prepared to accept the liability and carry out supervision.

Mention is continually being made here of the increase in GST. I want to point out, however, that the increase of 1% in GST represents exactly one cent in R10 or R1 in R100. The Government is now asking even those who are less well-off please to lend their assistance because the country is in difficulties, because the country needs money. All the Government is asking is that everyone should contribute an additional R1 out of every R100 of his income. Today a tremendous fuss is being made about this, about the fact that the Government dares to ask people, in the midst of these difficulties, whilst conditions around us are bleak, particularly as far as our gold price and the drought are concerned, to give up only one extra rand out of every R100 with a view to helping the country over its difficulties. It is also true, of course, that the real tax burden does not lie on the shoulders of that category of people about whom the official Opposition are so worried. When we take note of the fact that in all 1,3 million people out of a total of 2 million taxpayers having incomes of less than R10 000 per annum pay an average of R14 per month in tax, and that in all 1,87 million of the 2 million taxpayers earning less than R20 000 per annum pay an average of R46 per month in tax, from what remains it is apparent that 7,3% of the taxpayers pay 49,8% of the country’s total personal income tax. The burden therefore rests very heavily on the shoulders of those who already earn high salaries or have high net taxable incomes. That is why I believe that it is completely justified, even in the present circumstances, to expect a small contribution from our less well-to-do citizens.

I would also like to say that if it were not for the war in South West Africa and in Angola, we would possibly still have been able to avoid this increase of 1%. I also want to add that the war could already have been ended were it not for the negative statements made by the official Opposition over a period of many years.




It is not nonsense. There is only one hon member in that party from whom we hear any loyal utterances when it comes to defence expenditure and the involvement of our Defence Force there. Constant mention is made of our involvement in South West Africa and there is constant talk of our military involvement. Each time a negative remark on the part of the official Opposition reaches the overseas Press, it is grist to Swapo’s mill, it is like the sweet scent of incense to the Kremlin. One sometimes wonders whether the PFP is really serious when it says there should be peace and security in that part of the subcontinent. One specifically gains an impression about this matter when listens to the utterances of that blood relative of Sam Nujoma, ie the MPC for Cape Town Gardens. That is why I am saying today that the official Opposition’s approach has a subversive effect on the appropriations of the Republic of South Africa and that that party has a direct share in the increase of GST from 6% to 7%.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for False Bay will forgive me if I do not refer to his speech. As I begin my maiden speech I bring the honours of my constituents to our late representative and my predecessor, Mr Harry Pitman. At the start of this session, this House praised his contribution both as a man and a member of this House. I laud his work, quiet and unsung, in his constituency. He was open, he was honest, he was caring, especially in his work for the underdog, the pensioner and the voteless. Truly his motto was that the strong do have a responsibility for the weak. We honour him, Sir.

I want to express my grateful thanks to all the officers of the House and hon members who both welcomed me here and gave me so much constructive advice. It has been most useful and I thank them for it.

Hon members will understand if I refer now to the constituency that I have the honour to represent. It is made up of three major municipalities, much of Pinetown, of Westville and of New Germany with a total population of over 120 000 persons and a total rateable valuation of a massive R650 million. The Pinetown/New Germany complex has been for 15 or 20 years and still is one of the most booming industrial areas in this country. There are over 650 major and minor industries in the area. Westville, which is also part of the constituency, is one of the country’s major residential areas with a White population greater than that of Empangeni and Richards Bay combined. These municipalities have a long history dating back to the early days of Natal settlement. As a historian I was intrigued to find that the key to their establishment was the growing of cotton. That I am afraid has gone but the industrious settlers and their descendants remain.

Thus, in this constituency we have a microcosm of urban South Africa. The constituency contains within it part of the Indian residential area of Reservoir Hills with the magnificent facilities of the University of Durban-Westville. The constituency also includes the major Black freehold area of Clermont. Here the microcosm image is especially true. Here are lack of services and urban blight with slum shacks creeping down the hills. I would urgently request that we develop a constructive urbanization policy which takes cognisance of all these aspects of urban life and welds them into viable, happy communities.

My constituency was hit last weekend by the swinging tail of the cyclone Imboa, having be swiped by Domoina. Rivers rose, bridges were under water, roads were closed and gardens collapsed in the constituency. Civil protection services were called out. I should like to use this opportunity to praise and thank those men and women who served extraordinary hours during the torrential rains and high winds last weekend. I record also my appreciation to the three local authorities who have so ably established and equipped these civil protection services. I am certain that all hon members would wish to extend their thanks to all involved, all over this country, who helped their fellow South Africans and those in neighbouring states during these times of natural calamity.

Education is a major activity in the constituency with some 25 schools and over 9 000 Natal Education Department pupils alone. There is therefore still a very good growth potential. In particular I should like to say a word about the pre-primary schools. There are over 1 000 pupils in the 11 pre-primary schools in the constituency and they provide an absolutely essential element in the education process. These are not child-minding centres. They are highly developed sophisticated education institutions where fully trained teachers guide the child from an isolated, home-based play situation to one where play becomes the focus for learning. There can be no easy avoidance of overall parental responsibility in education but I do believe that the pre-primary schools do much to assist parents in establishing a foundation for formal schooling. Soon, hopefully, all children will be able to enjoy this vitally important phase of education.

It would be churlish of me not to speak in this House in praise of the organized teaching profession from which I have so recently come. The work of many men and women in service of their colleagues has to be fully acknowledged. The Federal Council under Mr John Stonier, the African Teachers’ Association under Mr Randall Peteni, the Union of Teachers’ Associations ably led by Mr Franklin Sonn, and the Teachers’ Association of South Africa under the leadership of Mr Pat Samuels are all striving for similar ideals. They work not only for teachers, but for all education in this country. They have established a relationship of caring, or participation amongst all teachers and through them, all school children in this country. They have laboured long and hard in education. The vast majority of the officials are volunteers carrying full teaching or administrative work loads. The ten full-time professional officers give continuity and well guided research.

There are over 200 000 teachers in this country. Together they make up the largest single group in the Public Service. They have created for themselves these staff associations, divided one from another by province, by the departments they serve, by language, by race; 17 of them in all, coming together into the four national bodies I mentioned earlier. They have certain rights—rights of access to provincial and regional departments and, at the national level, to the various Ministers responsible for education. The teachers of this country, I believe, are fortunate in having leaders who are so prepared to speak up on behalf of their members.

*I must direct a personal word of thanks to the people of the Federal Council in particular. It was in this council that my education was completed. People such as that “blue bull” Prof Hennie Maree, and the unforgettable depth of the knowledge of Mr Koos Steyn, made a profound impression on me. The hon the Minister of National Education knows these people and he and his department know about the excellent homework that is done before they come to see the hon the Minister.

†My colleagues at the chalk face must be praised for their devotion to the children they teach. Through financial tensions and pressures, through the expectation and frustrations caused by changing conditions in this country, they, more than others, have provided a sense of stability to our country. They have demonstrated how vital commitment is. It is quite clearly proved research phenomenon that unless the people who actually carry out changed policies understand and believe in them these changes will not be carried out or will be malformed. So it is with teachers. The teachers must be informed and they must believe in the coming change in education or they will not be effective. We all await with interest the proposed alterations in curriculum planning, in the school education structure, in a modular system of grouping. However, it is not enough simply to table a White Paper and to hope that the grass roots teacher understands what is coming. The essence of education, as in politics, is communication. It is only natural therefore that teachers look to Government, to those in authority, for good communication.


Mr Speaker, it is my privilege to congratulate the new hon member for Pinetown on his maiden speech. If his thinking and vision are as clear as his voice, he ought to make a good contribution in the House in future. The subject he spoke about is related to education and discipline. These are things that could fruitfully be made applicable to some hon members on that side of the House.

It is impossible for a Government to manipulate the country’s overall economy if it does not have the co-operation of the private sector and if there is not a balance between the country’s import and exports either. Furthermore, sound economic conditions must prevail in the countries which are one’s chief trading partners. In recent times we took due note of the influence of worldwide economic conditions on the economy of our country and became aware of the interdependence between ourselves and our chief trading partners. In agriculture, in particular, we know full well what influence recessionary conditions abroad can have on our exports. I want to give a few examples of that.

In the first place there is the karakul industry which is virtually wholly dependent on exports. I want to concede that there are other factors that contributed to the low ebb at which this industry finds itself at the moment, for example fashion fads that one cannot do very much about, the propaganda campaign against the killing of young lambs, exchange rate problems and the drought. The most important factor, however, is still the recessionary conditions in the countries that have to purchase the karakul pelts.

In the dried fruit industry we also had the experience, in the past year, of America having had an above-average crop of sultanas which it placed on the world market at highly subsidized prices. As a result we also had to reduce our export prices considerably, which caused our farmers to suffer extensive losses.

As far as the wine industry is concerned, the fact remains that although we are dependent on exports for less than 10% of our wine product revenue, the export market is nevertheless very important, particularly if it is seen in the light of this year’s declared surplus of 51%. Normally we export to about 30 countries, and the recessionary conditions in those countries are hampering the development of export markets. We find it very difficult to compete with highly subsidized and protected wines on the foreign market. Natural wines are, in some countries, subsidized by as much as R13 per hectolitre. That is as much as the local advance payment made on distilled wine. In our brandy industry, too, we are experiencing problems as a result of our GATT ties, because as a result of the increase in excise duty in South Africa, our price equilibrium has been disturbed and brandy has been placed in a position of having to compete on an unequal basis with imported spirits. Having said all these things, one must still always bear in mind the subtle boycott actions instituted against our country. The success we have thus far achieved with our exports can be ascribed to the quality we furnish and also to the fact that at the moment foreign buyers close their eyes to the political criticism levelled at our country. We must bear in mind, however, that these foreign buyers will, in the long run, bow the pressure that is going to be exerted by their consumers and their respective governments.

In the past few debates the Conservative Party has repeatedly asked where we are taking the Whites of South Africa. Firstly let me tell them that the success of the new dispensation will, to a large extent, be determined by the elbow-room furnished by our economic structure. The creation of both separate structures and equal facilities for our other population groups will, to a large extent, be determined by our economy. The purchases by persons abroad, and the investments they make in South Africa are to a large extent determined by the confidence they have in our local economy and political stability. What has the Conservative Party done to confirm economic and political stability in our country? It was clear to us today, and also in the last few debates, that they continually spoke of poor administration and incorrect spending. Attacks were made on our hon Ministers, alleging incompetence. For the most part these were simply unfounded attacks. Where they tried to be specific, as in the case of the hon member for Soutpansberg who tried to indicate what was spent on agriculture in Soutpansberg, the true facts very quickly proved how unfounded their statements are. If one looks at all the recriminations that are flung about, and also at the doubts expressed about our administration, one asks oneself whether this would engender any confidence in anyone wanting to purchase anything from South Africa or wanting to invest in South Africa.

What is more, they have impaired our political stability in this country. They broke away—so they say—as a result of “power-sharing”. I do not want to discuss the concept now, but just want to mention an example. If one speaks of a horse, one is speaking of something with four legs, two eyes and two ears. Whether its name is Poon or Bles, the most important requirement is that a horse should be able to pull a cart. Whatever we call this structure of ours, whether power-sharing or whatever, what is important is what overall influence it has on our society. The point is therefore what influence it has on our society and not what one calls the new structure. There are many people in our country who delight in shouting the popular slogan “change”, as long as they themselves do not have to change. They want all to change as long as it does not demand any sacrifice from them.

We accept the CP’s victory in Soutpansberg, but it was a victory involving a scant majority. I want to point out to hon members, however, that the strength of the CP’s representation in the House is still exactly what it was two years ago. In plain language, “their crop was merely enough for another planting”. In that case the writing is already on the wall and the farmer must slowly begin thinking about giving up farming. The Soutpansberg result must not lead to the Conservative Party dodging reality. They must bear in mind the things in regard to which they have been miscalculating the past two years. Firstly they miscalculated in regard to the support they had in the NP caucus. They miscalculated the support they had in the NP in Transvaal. They miscalculated in regard to the reasonable and objective thinking of the White voters of South Africa, as reflected in the result of the recent referendum.

Parties which do not wish to strive for political and economic stability in our country will be rejected by the electorate in the long run. If there are parties in our country which do not want to support the peace initiatives of the Government, history will put paid to them. We cannot allow petty political differences to cause such a rift that those who seek the downfall of our country get a chance to come in. After the referendum the hon the leader of the Conservative Party said: “It is one fight in a continuing struggle.” We do not think that was very beneficial.

We shall have to find one another in those areas relating to the downfall or survival of our country. We shall have to reach out a hand to one another and close ranks. What is very important, however, is that we shall also have to close ranks with the other population groups in our country so that we can act as a united front along the road ahead.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Gordonia said this instrument of government was like a horse. He only referred, however, to a horse pulling a cart, but what will that horse’s foal look like when it is 10 or 15 years old? Where has that horse been wandering around and what other horses accompanied it? I want to know what that foal will look like. The hon member must not make that kind of statement here.

He also said that we miscalculated on several occasions. Yes, we did miscalculate. We made a mistake about people like Karel Swanepoel and the man from Benoni who said he would cross over to us and was only waiting for an opportunity. We made a mistake about “Rex” le Roux, about “Sporie” van Rensburg, about the hon member for Gordonia, about Karel Swanepoel, about “Boy” Geldenhuys. The hon member must not blame us. Those are people who did a somersault. Just recall the reception that some of them had at the airport. The Minister had to go and speak to them. A Press statement had to be issued about the mistakes they had made. We did not miscalculate. They left us in the lurch.

Now I want to come to the hon member for Welkom. He touched upon a very important point here. He said that I mistakenly referred to certain canned fruit here. In a report I have here there is a picture of a can that has nothing wrong with it. It is Koo. [Interjections.] Next to it there is another can that was only half full. The water in the second can filled a pudding bowl from the Parliamentary kitchen. That was the can I was referring to. [Interjections.] That hon member went and read what Mr Marsh or Mr Heyns had written. Mr Heyns had only one can. He showed only the one can from Langeberg, the company in the country that furnishes the best products. Why does the hon member defend cases he knows nothing about?


Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?


Sit down, man, and listen! These people are conducting themselves in a scandalous fashion.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May the hon member for Langlaagte tell the hon member for Welkom to “sit down, man”?


Order! The hon member for Langlaagte may continue.


Hon members sit here in the House and do not do their work. What they are doing is backing up people who exploit the public day after day. They are protecting them. What do hon members have in common with those people who exploit pensioners? Earlier on I indicated that a can of canned vegetables contained 50% water, with just a small amount of the product in the bottom of the can.


Are you referring to weight or volume?


The hon member must please listen and get his facts right. I was here with the Press when the tests were done. Does the hon member want to say the Press is also stupid?


Are you referring to weight or volume?


The hon member does not even know the difference between weight and volume.

I now want to refer to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. That is something the hon member knows nothing about, but if I talk about that he will probably chip in as well. Seventy-three per cent of the lungs of a country belong to two companies, Anglo American and …




Yes, for that ignorant member’s information one refers to the Stock Exchange as the lungs of a State. It vibrates business. It breeds business and it breathes business. The listing of a company can be withdrawn within 24 hours, without furnishing any reasons, and within a month or two the product can be removed from the market.

†Such an item must have an asset value. What happened to the asset value? Has it just evaporated? Sir, they sit in this House as a lot of ignorant people laughing and making jokes. [Interjections.] I think it is a disgrace. I think it is a disgrace that they sit here and earn R43 000 per year. They are a disgrace to the country. [Interjections.]


Order! To whom was the hon member referring when he said “They are a disgrace to the country?” To hon members of the House?


Yes, I was referring to people in the House.


The hon member must withdraw that.


I withdraw it, Sir.

I now want to refer to the presence of aflatoxin in peanut butter. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Health, a leader here in the House, says one could eat 1,5 million tons of this peanut butter before one would die. Earlier on I put the following question to the hon the Minister of Health:

How many containers of peanut butter with levels of aflatoxin exceeding the legal permissible limits according to his reply to question No 15 on 15 February 1984 were withdrawn from the market recently and (b) what was the estimated value of the contaminated containers?

Altogether 61 039 containers were withdrawn from the market. Is that a joke? People had already paid for them. Poor pensioners and other poor people in our community had already paid for them. [Interjections.] Unscrupulous businessmen took R46 000 out of the pockets of poor people, because no businessman can tell me that he did not know he had sold the article. I myself have been involved in food production and know that one can ascertain immediately when there is a fungus present in a product. One also knows that when the food is mixed, the fungus is also mixed into it.

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

Are you prepared to say that outside the House?


To say what outside?

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

In making such libellous accusations you are hiding behind the privilege of the House.


Does that hon member think it is libellous?

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

Go and say it outside the House.


Whose cause is that hon member going to defend in wanting to tackle me outside the House? In whose interests is he acting in this House? For whom is he acting? For the OK Bazaars or for the canners of foodstuffs? [Interjections.] Why is the hon member challenging me to say it outside? Is he perhaps acting for big business? [Interjections.]

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

I act for what is legal and what is just.


I act for the consumers.

To a question about whether aflatoxin could cause cancer, the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare said: “Yes”. Now hon members must laugh!


Read the hon the Minister’s whole answer.


Do not talk nonsense. Read it for yourself. [Interjections.] The question was whether such poisoning could cause cancer in people and animals. To that the hon the Minister answered “yes”. [Interjections.] Hon members are laughing. As far as they are concerned it is a joke. The hon the Minister of Finance, together with his department, are working themselves nearly to death so that there can be progress in the country. At present there are R14 billion on overdrafts in the country. There is a free flow of money in the country, there are credit cards to the value of millions of rand in circulation, and yet the departments do not co-operate to support the hon the Minister of Finance. In the meantime we have this bunch of jokers sitting here, and outside the businessmen are laughing at them. Do hon members know how many people in the Eastern Cape die of cancer of the liver?


As a result of?


As a result of fungus in their food. Many of them also die as a result of cancer of the oesophagus.


How many?


If the hon member wants to know it all, I shall give him the particulars. [Interjections.]

Let us look at the consumer’s problem for a moment. What do hon members think this piece of flex cost two or three years ago? [Interjections.] About 50 cent. This flex with a plug on cost about R1,00 of R1,20, and this piece of flex about R1,20. What does it cost today? R12,50, apart from the 78 cents in GST that is added. [Interjections.] Perhaps one would be lucky enough to purchase it at another shop for R7,00. What scandalous practices have entered the business field?


Why do you yourself not market it?


What exploitation of the consumer is not taking place these days? On whose side is the hon member for Springs who is making such a fight of it? Does he perhaps have interests in the marketing of electrical commodities, or is he interested in the problems of the consumer? [Interjections.] What do hon members have against the consumer? Why do they attack me if I call the House’s attention to exploitation of this nature? [Interjections.] I am just asking the hon the Minister to ensure that this matter is investigated. Although I know that this request should actually be made to the hon the Minister of Industries Commerce and Tourism, I am nevertheless also doing it now so that the hon the Minister of Finance can take note of it too. I want to suggest that in every chainstore there should be a clearly drawn up price list, with the prices of all the items in that shop. That is all I am asking. Nothing more. Thus people would be in a position to go from shop to shop comparing prices.

Recently a man was taken into custody in a large shop in Milnerton. The charge against him was that he had changed the prices on certain articles. He was stopped when he left the shop. As far as I know, he was given a jail sentence of six months, over and above the other problems he encountered in the process. Businessmen, however, change the prices om items in their shop as many as 24 times each month. [Interjections.]

I want to tell hon members of another incident. It is something that happened earlier this week. A woman bought a sugar bowl on which there was a price sticker indicating a price of R9. At the check-out point, however, a scanner indicated a hidden price tag with a price of R24. The relevant member of the shop staff thereupon removed all the price tags so that the woman concerned had no proof to back her up. The manager of the shop made a mistake, however, because not all people are stupid. She simply telephoned a certain man. I very quickly found out what was going on. [Interjections.] I telephoned the manager himself and spoke to him. They did not lock that woman up. They sold her item at a reduced price. They allowed her to pay only R9 for it. All I want is for people to come to their senses. The people in this country, the poor whites of today, and all other consumers in the country, must be protected. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, this afternoon the hon member for Langlaagte has been pursuing an argument which he advanced earlier here concerning canned fruit and vegetables. I listened attentively to what the hon member said. I took cognizance of his entire argument about the contents of a can of peas. I also took note of the reaction of the Press to his earlier speech, which also concerned the contents of tins of fruit and vegetables.

However, I found the correct answer from the reaction of an expert. I believe it is important that the hon member for Langlaagte should let the matter rest at that.

However, this afternoon the hon member for Langlaagte also contended here that people in our country were being exploited in many ways. That, of course, is true. I personally have observed this, too. I know that the price of the same article varies from shop to shop. This is cause for concern. It is not something one feels happy about.


Why do you laugh at him then?

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

Because he is a clown.


Order! The hon member for Mossel Bay must withdraw that remark.

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

I withdraw it, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, the hon member is trying to contend that poor people, people who are having a hard time of it, are being exploited. Surely there are channels through which it is possible to act. Moreover, the hon member referred once again to the fact that certain poisons have occurred in peanut butter. I believe that that matter has now been debated comprehensively. The hon member even placed a question in that regard on the Question Paper. Moreover he has received a reply from the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare.

However, I wish to ask the hon member for Langlaagte how his actions can be reconciled with those of his hon leader. Hon members are aware that the hon the leader of the CP objected to being approached on a Sunday to conduct an interview with the Press and television. However, it is not interesting that the hon member for Langlaagte is even using the Sunday Times as his mouthpiece. He permits his photograph to be published in that newspaper alongside a report that he held up in this House this afternoon. [Interjections.] I just want to know whether he did so in consultation with his hon leader. [Interjections.] I want to say to the hon member for Langlaagte this afternoon that I should prefer to move on to more serious matters. I think that this is important in these times and in the course of my speech I shall refer to the importance of negotiations. However, before finally taking leave of the hon member for Langlaagte and his party, I want to say that as far as negotiation goes, the hon leader of the CP and his supporters were not even able to negotiate an agreement with Mr Jaap Marais. They had to call in the counsel and advice of Prof Boshoff. [Interjections.] When I think about the level at which negotiations are taking place today, I just want to point out to those hon members that the hon member for Waterberg, the leader of the CP, and the leader of the HNP have known one another for many years. They were in the same political party for many years, they speak the same language, they have the same skin colour and the same cultural background. It is quite possible that they even share the same blood group. However, they are unable to reach agreement. They live in the same city in the same country and they are unable to find one another. [Interjections.]

In passing, there is just one remark I want to make. In this morning’s Burger I read a certain report. It struck me when I entered the Chamber that the hon member for Yeoville was not present. I appreciate the fact that the hon the Leader of the Opposition said to us that the hon member for Yeoville was indisposed. I hope he will recover soon because he and I have come a long way together, although we differ politically. As people, however, we have retained our understanding for one another. With reference to the report I read this morning, it struck me that even at this stage, when a cultural organization had not been founded to involve the rightist groups, Mr Jaap Marais had said that he regarded the matter with suspicion due to a report that had appeared to the effect that the leader of the CP and the hon member for Lichtenburg had conducted discussions with the Board of Deputies of the Jewish community. Do you know, Sir, who the middleman is in this matter? It is the hon member for Yeoville.

I think that at this point we should discuss more serious matters affecting the Republic. Let us this afternoon take cognizance of the fact that on 2 November the voters of the Republic of South Africa were given a choice. The voters made their choice and the result was crystal clear. Therefore the governing party in this country has a responsibility to the voters at large. We have chosen the path of peace and prosperity and progress for all people in the Republic of South Africa. I want to say here and now that we shall have to built roads where no roads exist. We shall have to make friends where we have no friends. Important, too, is the fact that we shall have to conclude treaties where those treaties do not exist.

I also have something to say to the hon the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon. I appreciate the fact that the hon the Leader of the Opposition is present in this House while I wish to react to what he said this afternoon. I do so with all due respect towards the leader of an official Opposition in this House.

This afternoon the hon the Leader of the Opposition referred to the fact that he profoundly appreciated the peace initiative on the part of the Government. I wish to say to him this afternoon that I appreciate that.

I also looked at a speech that the hon the Leader of the Opposition made in this House. I think he must find an opportunity to react to this further. After the no-confidence debate the hon the Leader of the Opposition said that the 21 corpses lying on the battlefield in Angola were more important to him than the weaponry of hostile powers that had been seized. Naturally we sympathize with people who paid with their lives on the battlefield for the security and the peace of this country. I understand that. On the other hand, I also call to mind a report which appeared in Die Volksblad of 9 January. We must take cognizance of this, too: The presence of the South African forces in South West Africa. When we consider the actions of Swapo against the civilians in South West Africa, we find that over a period which began in 1979 and ended on 27 October 1983—I am referring here to civilians—303 people died in landmine explosions, 513 were injured, 366 were murdered and 1 341 were abducted by Angola to be trained as terrorists.

I address myself with the utmost seriousness to the hon the Leader of the Opposition, but also to the leaders of other parties in this House, when I say that we must not be stumbling-blocks on the road we have chosen, the road of peace. We must not form an obstruction on that road. If we do not succeed along that road, in the direction we have taken, there will not be peace in this country.

Together with the hon the Leader of the Opposition I, too, should like to convey special appreciation to the hon the Prime Minister, the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers that assist him, as well as the people who advised them in the process of negotiation. I do not think we should become arrogant about that, but should approach it with the necessary seriousness.

In recent months the news has been dominated by reports of wars, terrorism, violence, lawlessness, drought disasters and flood disasters, but we see, too, that there are flames that are burning high in the world. Those flames are also clearly visible in the Republic of South Africa. I refer to the flames of over-population and of famine, but particularly to the red flame of communism which is clearly visible in the Republic of South Africa, too. On the other hand, the news is also being dominated by negotiations, and I want to refer once again to the peace initiative of the Government.

The issues at stake are security and prosperity, co-operation and stability, the maintenance of law and order in our country, which will be to the benefit of our community as a whole.

In his Second Reading speech the hon the Minister of Finance referred to three points which are at issue and which entail increased expenditure. I wish to confine myself to two of them. The one concerns aid to people in flood disaster areas, but I do not wish to elaborate on that; I think that a great deal has been said about that already. I want to refer in particular to the final aspect touched on by the hon the Minister of Finance, viz the military requirements that we cannot calculate with precision.

When we consider the total onslaught on the Republic of South Africa, we find—I am told—that 20% of the onslaught on the Republic and its people is of a military nature, whereas 80% is aimed at the spirit of the people. That is important. As far as the military preparedness of our people is concerned, we need have no hesitation in leaving that in the hands of the Government. The Government will continue to maintain law and order in the Republic of South Africa. As far as the spiritual preparedness of people is concerned, the Government will have to lean very heavily on our churches. I am not a theologian, but I wish to state very clearly today that I have always been of the opinion that the State and the Church are two separate autonomous bodies, each established by God with its own mandate, its own task and its own sphere. It is for this very reason that the State does not wish to interfere in the sphere of the Church, whereas it, in turn, expects the Church not to interfere in the sphere of the State. However, because South Africa is a Christian state and the Government wishes to govern on the basis of Christian principles, the voice of the Church is taken into account at all times, because the State and the Church are concerned with the welfare of the people that have been entrusted to their care. We know that a few days ago the hon the Prime Minister made an announcement in this House and referred to a request made by 16 of our biggest religious denominations in the country. These churches appealed to the Government to announce a day of conciliation. The Government complied with this request. What struck me personally was the absolute respect and reverence and the quiet that prevailed in this House when the Church was addressing the State. That is important. I am particularly appreciative of the fact that we were able to have a day of conciliation yesterday and were able to kneel down in order to intercede for the problems mentioned in the request of the churches. It was requested that prayers be said for rain in drought-ravished areas, for those in trouble and—this is important and I wish to support this idea—for peace in South Africa and peace in the rest of the world. I want to thank every person who took the trouble yesterday to go to the House of the Lord to worship, irrespective of faith or skin colour. It is, unfortunately, the case that there are certain church leaders and certain churches who did not take part in this. I want to make a very earnest appeal to some of those churches this afternoon. In the short time at my disposal I should like to refer to this matter.

The actions of some of our church leaders may be obstacles on the road to peace in this country. In 1974 the Government found it necessary to place the Affected Organizations Act on the Statute Book. I have acquainted myself with the contents of this Act and have also examined the activities of the SA Council of Churches. In addition I have perused the speeches of the mouthpiece of the SACC. In terms of the Act to which I have referred, an investigation has been instituted into the SACC. I, too, have investigated its activities. What I find particularly gratifying is that I note in the list of members of the SACC, as contained in the report of the Eloff Commission of 1981, that names on that list of churches also appear on the list of churches that approached the Government to announce a day of conciliation. I believe, and in my heart I am convinced, that those churches have reconsidered their membership of the SACC with regard to the road on which they find themselves. However, I do not wish to elaborate on the many rumours concerning the South African Council of Churches. There will be an occasion for that later on when this House discusses this matter at length.

This afternoon I wish to refer to one matter and make yet another appeal to the leader, spokesman and chief secretary of the South African Council of Churches to reconsider his attitude to the RSA and its people. I want to refer to a report in Rapport dated 19 February 1984 which reads:

Biskop Desmond Tutu, hoofsekretaris van die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke, het die uitslag van die Eloff-kommissie bestempel as ’n georkestreerde poging van die Regering om die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke te beswadder.

Surely that is by no means the truth. He states that he is deeply disappointed in Mr Justice Eloff and he rejects the report as one-sided and partial. In the same report in which this reverend gentleman reacted to the report of the Eloff Commission he said that he would continue to speak to the leaders of the ANC not, as the commission said, in secret, but on a confidential basis. He made an offer to the Government to act as intermediary so that there could be a discussion between the ANC and the Government. Bishop Tutu must search his own heart and calculate the price that the people of South Africa will pay for that action. Unless he reconsiders his attitude, it will mean a dangerous road for him. Ninety seven per cent of the funds of the South African Council of Churches come from abroad. Is it necessary for funds to come from abroad to be used to incite unrest in our country and become involved in activities that will lead to discontent in this country? I appeal to the reverend gentleman to use the funds they obtain to buy bread for the lesser privileged and for the people who are dying of hunger in Southern Africa.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Witbank will forgive me if I do not follow up on his speech. The theme which he followed in his speech—especially the latter part—can be more appropriately discussed in the special debate on Monday and I am sure that we will hear much more about it on that occasion.

In the closing stages of the Third Reading of this Bill I want in the short time at my disposal, to return briefly to some of the comments which have been made throughout the last few days regarding the Pinetown by-election and some of the conclusions that have been drawn from that.

When the hon the Minister of Finance commenced his Second Reading reply, he made some interesting comments, comments, which I think requires some reaction. The hon the Minister stated earlier in his speech that if there is one seat which the NRP should have won in Natal, it was the Pinetown seat. He went on to say: “Now, more than ever, the battle-lines in Natal are drawn”. That was a dramatic piece of phraseology: “Now, more than ever, the battle-lines in Natal are drawn”. He says no matter what the design of the official Opposition is on Natal, the National Party has further designs on Natal. He then said: “We do not intend delaying our cherished goal any longer, and that is to win Natal for the NP”. I want to ask the hon the Minister what all that means.


It is quite a mouthful.


Does it mean that the NP will now fight every seat in Natal on its own feet and not rely on any further alliance with the NRP? This is spontaneous question as a result of the defeat of the NRP in Pinetown. What does it mean that the battle lines in Natal are now drawn and that the NP will now win their cherished goal? If it does mean that, I want to ask the hon the Minister, and his deputy leader in Natal, what has happened to consensus. What has happened to the consensus which the hon the Deputy Minister of Community Development spoke about in the no-confidence debate? It is very interesting at this stage to look at the speech the hon the Deputy Minister made during the no-confidence debate. He said, amongst other things (Hansard, 30 January 1984, col 85):

I agree with the hon member for Durban Point that in 17 days’ time Mr Frank Martin will be here.

Well, I do not see him, Sir! The hon the Deputy Minister went on to say, and these are telling words:

I shall then have to ask them whom they have to thank, just as in the case of the clients of a certain bank.

He said further that this was an instance of consensus. He said:

Yes, we reached consensus with the NRP, and that is what I am going to discuss. In Pinetown we and the NRP gave a practical demonstration of consensus politics. We are entering an era in which consensus is going to be very demanding …

Well, it was a very short-lived era. He went on to say (col 86):

We believe with them …

That is the NRP

… that with the six seats which the PFP have in Natal they are represented way beyond their potential. They are alien to Natal—the PFP are carpet-baggers in Natal.

Some carpet-baggers after the Pinetown result! If ever we justified our existence in Natal as a political force, we did so in the Pinetown by-election.

These comments compare strangely with the speech made by the hon the Minister. It all seemed so cosy when we listened to the hon the Deputy Minister, this engagement in consensus. Now it seems that the engagement has been broken off. The lovers have fallen out. Suddenly all the mutual amours have not come up to expectations.

One can also compare the speech of the hon the Deputy Minister with that made by the hon member for Maitland the other day. The hon member for Maitland gave the NRP a lecture. He said politics was about making decisions. He gave them an ultimatum. It was that they should take a decision on which direction they were going to follow, or else. So one can compare all these comments.

I come back to the hon the Minister, who said the NRP should not have lost the election, who spoke about the battle lines being drawn and who said, dramatically, that now the NP would not delay its cherished aim to win Natal. Must we conclude from what the hon the Minister has said and from what the hon member for Maitland has said that the NRP has now been ditched as far as NP members in the House are concerned just as the NRP was ditched by half on the NP supporters in the Pinetown constituency in that by-election?

Before I leave what the hon the Minister has said I must refer to another comment he made. He said:

As far as we from Natal are concerned, we are looking forward very much to the next election.

I interjected: “So are we.” The Minister then went on to say:

That is very good indeed. I like a good fight and I hope the hon member for Berea does as well.

That is a startling change. Since when has this Minister liked a good fight? He has never fought an election in his life. Now, referring to the next general election, he comes along and says he likes a good fight. This hon Minister became a nominated senator in 1970 and he became a nominated member of the House in 1981. He has never experienced a political shot fired in anger at the hustings. What does he know about a good fight in a general election? He has been in Parliament for nearly 15 years without ever facing the electorate.

There is a further question I want to ask him. Does his speaking of a good fight mean that at long last he intends to rectify the situation and lead his party in Natal from the front for a change? If so, I suggest, as I have suggested publicly, that he should come and fight me in Berea. It is a seat in which he used to live during the unfortunate years when he was principal of Natal University. He must therefore know a lot of people there. I suggest he should commit himself to facing the electorate in Natal and to fighting me in my constituency.

I want to turn to the NRP. They have been at great pains to justify their defeat and in the process they have made some remarkable statements. The Oscar Award must of course go to the hon leader of the NRP for the phrase which he coined after the outcome of the election when he said: “We did not lose, we just failed to win”. [Interjections.] I think that phrase will be long remembered in the annals of South African politics. Prior to the election there were the usual wild claims. In the no confidence debate the hon member for Durban Point said that Mr Martin would be here in 17 days. That did not eventuate. There was also talk at stages of the campaign of lost deposits for the PFP and of course of enormous NRP majorities. One thought back to the hon leader of the NRP’s comments prior to the Edenvale election when he said that they would beat the PFP by three to one thought also of claims by the NRP before the last general election that they would probably win about 60 seats, although in the event they only fought about 40. We also heard Mr Martin saying on the announcement of Mr Burrows as the PFP’s candidate: “Who is this fellow Burrows? I will have a majority of 2 000 to 3 000 votes in Pine-town”. We also heard the hon member for Durban North and other members of the NRP making similar fatuous claims.

The hon member for Durban North the other day claimed that in fact the NRP had reduced the PFP majority. That is absolute nonsense. In the run-up to the by-election every political commentator in South Africa said that statistically the PFP could not win the seat. They based this comment correctly, not on the previous parliamentary result but on the previous provincial council result. In the last parliamentary general election it was a straight fight between the PFP and the NP in a climate of “keep Natal free from the Nats”, which was the slogan of the NRP, whereas in the provincial council election all three parties were represented. That result showed a hard core of PFP supporters. The PFP polled 3 794 votes for the 69 vote majority as opposed to 3 725 votes for the NRP and 2 653 votes for the NP. So percentagewise in the last provincial election the PFP polled 37,5%, the NRP 37% and the NP 26%. The combined NRP-Nat vote at that stage was in fact 63%. This by-election reflects that 55% of the votes cast went to the PFP and 45% to the NRP-NP alliance or consensus clique, or whatever one would like to call it. Instead of a majority of 69 votes as for the provincial seat in the general election the majority was 880. The result also showed that even in a comparatively low poll 1 483 more voters voted for the PFP than in the last provincial election. [Interjections.]

I want to put another question to the NRP, and in particular the hon member for Durban Point. I want to refer to an article which appeared in the Sunday Tribune of last week. The hon member may deny that he said this because he has denied other things which have appeared in newspapers. I quote:

Mr Raw denied that he was to quit as leader of the NRP to join the President’s Council. He denied that the loss of Pine-town signalled the death of the NRP and repeated his determination not to join the NP.

Now comes the interesting question:

But he would not comment on remarks by the Natal leader of his party, Mr Ron Miller, that all the options, including joining of the Nats, would have to be assessed. He would not comment when asked if the Nats had pulled the plug on the NRP in Pinetown.

I want to know whether the hon member for Durban Point and the hon member for Durban North have resolved this problem. Is this option still open? Is this something which they are still discussing?


I do not believe anything I am told by that newspaper.


Perhaps the hon member for Durban North will say whether this option is still open. Does he believe this option is still open? [Interjections.]

I am afraid my time has just about expired. I want to say in conclusion that we—I say this in response to the hon the Minister—believe that the people of Natal recognize the need for a strong and effective Opposition to guard against the arrogance of the NP, to fight and resist the erosion of civil liberties in South Africa, to plead for better race relations and for better government and to get on with the job of reform. I believe that Pinetown reflects that more and more people recognize that the PFP is the only vehicle capable of achieving these ends. I want to say to the hon the Minister that we welcome the threatened Nat challenge in Natal and we will meet it with relish at the hustings when the time comes. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Berea will forgive me if I do not react to his speech. I want to concentrate today on the creation of a sector in the Black community which will be well-provided with capital. This is a very wide field, of course, which cannot be covered in a few minutes. There are a few other aspects one has to mention in discussing this matter.

The first question one has to ask oneself is why these people are necessary and why one is advocating the idea of a sector among the Black people that will be well supplied with capital. A second question is why we as Whites should accept this idea; why it should be acceptable to us. In the third place, one may ask in what sectors this Black entrepreneurial class should be present, and when this question has been answered, one may ask what the effect of such entrepreneurs would be on the government of the country. The fifth question is: What is the role of the private sector in the creation of employment opportunities? This is a comprehensive subject and I shall not do justice to it if I try to deal with it in its entirety today. Therefore I shall confine myself only to the second question, namely why we as Afrikaners, as Whites, should not simply dismiss this idea as just another leftist idea and then attempt to make political capital out of it, making inaccurate statements in the process, as the hon member for Langlaagte did yesterday. He referred to the Development Bank yesterday and said, among other things, that the farmers had to pay high interest rates this year, while the Government had made R1,5 billion available to the Development Bank. By his own account, the hon member for Langlaagte seems to be one of the really hard-working members of this House. It is regrettable, however, that he is not very accurate. During the past year, R57 million has been given to the Development Bank in the form of loan capital. During the coming financial year, R180 million will be given to the Bank. R32 million will be made available as share capital. In other words, we are talking about an amount of R357 million up to March 1985, while the hon member for Langlaagte talked about R1 500 million which had already been given.


Where do you get your figures from, Barnie?


He gets them out of a tin. [Interjections.]


Perhaps the hon member should rather go on playing with his tins, Sir, for in the same sentence he made another inaccurate statement. He said that the Development Bank had been established for the citizens of other countries. That is a manifest untruth.


What are the national states?


If the hon member wishes to suggest that the national states are independent states, I want to point out to him that he was my senior in the NP for a considerable period; in spite of that he still does not understand our Coloured or our Black politics. A national state is still situated within the borders of the Republic of South Africa. Only the independent Black states are regarded as no longer falling within the borders of the Republic. [Interjections.]

Mr Speaker, if hon members, especially the hon member for Langlaagte, would just give me a chance … [Interjections.]




The hon member for Langlaagte said that it applied only to the other states. However, it applies to all the Black people of South Africa, irrespective of whether they are citizens of the Republic or citizens of the TBVC countries. However, I shall not devote any more time to the hon member for Langlaagte. All I ask is that in this matter of a Black entrepreneurial class, we should … [Interjections.]

Mr Speaker, I want to indicate, from a historical point of view, how important it is for us to see in their proper perspective those things which we wish to protect, which we regard as belonging to us, which we want to preserve in order to give meaning to our continued existence. Psychologists tell us that the primary urge of every person is the urge to survive. This is associated with the concepts of one’s own heritage and of the things one regards as essential to one’s survival. The idea is that a person cannot continue to exist in a meaningful way if his heritage is not protected. Let us now examine the charge that has come about in our perception of our heritage.

I submit that, contrary to general thinking, a person’s perception of that which belongs to him and of that which is essential to his survival changes in accordance with the changes in the situation in which he finds himself. What is more, as a person’s perception of what is threatening him changes, his perception of what is essential to him and what belongs to him also changes.

In the early 1950s, immigration to South Africa dropped to a very low level. It was forced down to a very low level because the Government of the day, under the influence of the Afrikaans cultural organizations, believed that a large influx of immigrants from the Latin Roman Catholic countries in particular posed a danger to Afrikaans culture and the Afrikaans church and language. What did we do then? We severely restricted immigration. With the wisdom of hindsight I am almost sure that there is not a single hon member in this House who would still maintain today that we did not make a mistake when we let that golden opportunity to obtain an almost unlimited supply of technicians slip through our fingers. In this respect we may think, for example, of the refugees from Hungary after the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Statistics show how few of those people came to South Africa. Today we see things in a completely different light, however. Proof of this is to be found in the way in which immigration to South Africa is being promoted today.

About 25 years ago, a very vigorous Afrikaans secret cultural organization for young people was founded on the campus of the University of Pretoria. Certain hon members of this House were very closely involved in the formation of that organization.


I presume you are talking about Polstu.


Mr Speaker, it is very clear that the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North does not know his history. He has obviously got his dates mixed up. At the time, that body was regarded as a bulwark for the protection of the Afrikaans language, culture and church. Against what? Against English culture, against Zionism and against the Jewish culture.


Which organization was that?


I shall tell the hon member for Jeppe later which organization it was. [Interjections.] What perception do people have today of the things belonging to the Afrikaner that have to be protected against these onslaughts? What has become of it? The hon member for Langlaagte has left. He said by way of interjection last year that he and the hon member for Hillbrow were members of the same White people. I am sure the hon member for Hillbrow is too intelligent to fall for that kind of nonsense.

What has become of the perception of the Afrikaans language and culture that have to be protected? In this connection I should like to refer to the hon the leader of the CP. [Interjections.] What are the views that the leader of the CP has expressed? He is the man who used to be regarded by Afrikaners as the mentor of the Afrikaans language and culture. What is his concepts today? When the hon the leader of the CP rose during the debate on the Second Reading of this Bill, what did he say? He spoke about the White people. He did not speak about the Afrikaner people. He spoke about a White people. What has happened here? We have had a shift in the perception of what is dangerous, of what we have to defend ourselves against. There has been a shift in our perception of who the enemy is and those whom we do not regard as our enemies. That is what has happened here.

Hon members may recall what happened when Federale Mynbou and General Mining got together. They will remember that those Afrikaner leaders who were responsible for that breakthrough were reviled.

Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 73.


Mr Speaker, now that we have come to the end of a long Third Reading debate on the Part Appropriation Bill, I want to convey my sincere thanks to all hon members who have participated in this debate for their contributions. I think you will agree with me, Sir, that we have been privileged to listen to quite a number of excellent speeches, as well as a few weaker speeches here and there, perhaps, but that is not what I want to discuss now. Whether or not I agree with all members who have participated in the debate, and they with me, is not relevant now. However, I want to convey my sincere thanks to all hon members who have defended the Government’s policy and standpoints so ably and effectively.

†I also want to congratulate the hon member for Pinetown on his maiden speech. We have a great tradition in this House that when an hon member speaks here for the first time he is given a very good and fair reception. This was the case again today and we listened with interest to what the hon member had to say. We wish the hon member well and I want to assure him that we look forward to debating with him in livelier fashion in the future.


Was he one of your students, Owen?


Yes, he was. That is probably why he is here. [Interjections.] Sir, the hon member for Bryanston has asked me whether the hon member for Pinetown was one of my students and, quite probably, I having said that he was, the hon member for Bryanston will most probably say: Unfortunately for him! Just imagine, however, where the hon member for Bryanston would have been today if he too had been one of my students! [Interjections.] He certainly would not have been sitting there!

I do not intend to make a long speech now, Sir, but I would just like to comment on this little effort of the hon member for Berea a few moments ago. The hon member referred to the political situation in Natal and all the great things he said his party was going to do there. I must say, Sir, that I listened with some surprise to his somewhat nervous entry into the debate. I wonder what is really worrying him. There is no talk of an election at the moment. He is going to need much stronger nerves than that in Natal. I gained the impression that he really was extremely worried. He wants to know what I am going to do. In the 15 years I have had the honour to be actively involved in this party’s affairs, I think I can say I addressed scores and scores of political meetings right through Natal in virtually every constituency. I probably addressed very many more meetings in that period than the hon member had.


But you have not fought eight elections.


Well, I have fought right through Natal in every election, and inside and outside elections, and I intend to do the same.

The hon member can take it from me that I shall continue in that way and as far as I am concerned, one of my greatest goals in life is to ensure—I think that day is now fast approaching, and as I said in a previous speech we are absolutely determined to achieve this—that we get Natal where it should be; squarely behind the Government, also in the Provincial Administration of Natal. This is obviously worrying the hon member a great deal because he comes into the debate at this time, but he should wait until the election really starts—then he will see whether we can fight or not. I want to give the hon member the assurance that we shall be there.


You will be there, too?


Yes, I shall be there, too, and the hon member can be quite sure of that. I am quite prepared to come to talk in the hon member’s constituency. I shall be in every constituency, and we shall see what the results are.

On that note which is a note of assurance that we shall not be wanting in any good election fight in this country at any time, I conclude.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a Third Time.


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a Second Time.

I am sure that several hon members are acquainted with the Government villages at Benoni, Germiston, Randfontein, Vereeniging, Cradock Place in Port Elizabeth, Collondale in East London and Oribi in Pietermaritzburg. These towns were military camps that were converted at the end of the Second World War to provide accommodation for returned soldiers and their families.

In the course of time the emphasis has shifted to accommodation for the lower income groups, and an effort is accordingly been made to make at least half of the total of approximately 1 280 dwelling units in the Government villages available to needy families and the elderly. In this way these villages have consistently met a considerable accommodation need in the centres where they are situated.

Initially the control of Government villages was a war measure, after which it was regulated in terms of other statutory measures until the Government Villages Act, 1973, was introduced, in terms of which the Secretary of the then Department of Community Development took over the control and management of these villages. Nowadays the villages fall under the Director-General of Community Development.

†The management and control consist mainly of the maintenance of the dwellings and services in the villages and the letting of the dwellings to suitable applicants.

As hon members know, the Department of Community Development launched a sales campaign during 1983 to sell letting units which were erected with the aid of National Housing Funds. There is no reason why dwellings in the Government villages should not also be sold and therefore it is the intention to proceed with such sales. Unfortunately the Government Villages Act, 1973, does not provide for the alienation of Government villages. Consequently it has been decided to amend the Act in order that sales may be effected in terms of the State Land Disposal Act, 1961. The Minister of Community Development will in terms of the proposed amendment, be authorized to exclude a Government village or part thereof from the application of the Government Villages Act by means of a notice in the Government Gazette. Such village will then fall within the ambit of the State Land Disposal Act.

In Government townships where municipal property is involved, the department will negotiate with the local authority regarding the disposal of the property and suitable arrangements will be made.


Mr Speaker, the official Opposition will support the Bill, primarily because it is aimed at providing accommodation on a more permanent basis for those people who are presently and who will be occupying dwellings in Government villages which were previously military camps. Having been stationed at some of these military camps, especially Randfontein and Oribi, perhaps I have a sentimental attachment to them. I can picture what these areas looked like before they became Government villages. I often hoped that they would not become wastelands after having been abandoned by the military authorities and that the buildings and other construction work there would be put to good use. This was in fact done and the establishment of Government villages was entrenched in legislation in 1973. Acacia Park was of course also a military camp during the Second World War, although it is not included in the list of Government villages. As it is now a Parliamentary village perhaps we will not worry about selling the dwelling units off.

Section 2 of the principal Act deals with the management of Government villages, namely the question of maintaining them, plans to develop them, constructing them, letting the dwellings in them and improving them. These villages have either single or double-storey accommodation and we now want to sell these dwellings to private individuals. The problem is that these dwellings are situated on a single piece of ground, often not part of a township and out in the open somewhere. In terms of town planning regulations, the question now is how the Government is going to effect the transfer of these properties to individuals. We trust that this type of accommodation will cater for the lower income groups. In terms of the policy announced by the hon the Minister the prices of these dwellings will be kept low. We trust that the method of payment will be made as easy as possible for the purchasers and that they will be able to pay a low deposit and low monthly instalments. The rate of interest should also be low so that people can pay off the transfer costs of the property and the purchase price. As regards the legal method in which this should be done, I am not sure whether these villages are going to be declared to be townships in terms of the township proclamations of the various provinces, or whether, as has been said to me privately, it is going to be done by way of sectional title. I sincerely hope that it will not be done by way of sectional title because I think this will give rise to a lot of difficulties. Sectional title is going to require a certain amount of survey work and plans will have to be attached to diagrams before these properties can be registered with the Registrar of Deeds in terms of the Sectional Titles Act. In terms of the Act there will also have to be bodies corporate to maintain, run and administer such schemes. If one is not going to sell all the units and some are going to be leased, problems will arise. In addition, the people who are going to live in these villages will in the main be elderly people. I do not think we would like to saddle them with the burden of serving on a body corporate and worrying about the income, the expenditure and the amount of the levies which have to be levied from time to time. In the circumstances I urge the hon the Deputy Minister to have these villages declared as townships and not deal with them as sectional title schemes. Let these areas be proclaimed as townships and make use of the recommendations which have no doubt been made by the commission under the chairmanship of the hon the Deputy Minister of Industries, Commerce and Tourism. These townships can be proclaimed in a short space of time thus disposing of a great deal of red tape. Once it is proclaimed, it is a different stand and it can then be sold to the individual along the lines which we are talking about.

We trust that there will be a large number of units available to people to purchase. We trust that the people presently living in these units, will be given the first option to purchase them and if they cannot purchase them that they will not be sold over their heads so that other people can give them notice. They will then in turn be looking for accommodation which is difficult to find and certainly at a rent which they can ill-afford to pay as they pay very low rental in these Government villages. One must bear in mind the economics of the scheme.

By and large we are not opposed to the idea of selling but a large portion should be let as well. There is the argument that when one sells one cannot rent the unit again. Opposed to that one has a permanent tenant on the premises. If one leases one leases it for as long as one owns it. One tenant can then follow the next.

There is otherwise not much in the Bill. The Director General will now become the Director-General: Community Development, and notice of the application can be made in the Government Gazette. The areas mentioned in the Gazette can be excluded from Government villages. Once that is done, it is removed from the control of the Act and one is then free to form a township and choose ones own method of sale.

Under these circumstances, we support this Bill.


Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon member for Hillbrow for his support for this Bill. I also want to congratulate the hon the Deputy Minister on the change we are now making in respect of our Government villages.

For the sake of those hon members who do not live in a Government village, I want to say that it is an interesting place. To explain this clearly, I want to refer with great affection to a well-known Government village where a great many of us live, Acacia Park. I have spoken to someone who has lived there for more than 20 years. The latest addition to this village is the gateway, but I do not want to talk about that now. It is interesting to know that the abattoir of the military camp stood during the Second World War where the school now stands. This is what I have been told and I assume it to be true. I do not think any of us could say that blood flows in that building in its present form. In the sixties an hon member for Wonderboom lived where the chapel had been. That member’s nature was not in keeping with the nature of the building. The hon member cooked up wicked schemes and eventually had to leave his original party.

Today the hospital or clinic of the military camp is the home of the hon member for Durban Point. The hon member will forgive me if I say that his state of health is inconsistent with the original intention of the building. Nowadays the former butchery is the village club-house. Housing has today been created from the structures of the old military camp. These and other structures have been altered so that decent housing could be provided for people in need.

In referring to these matters I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister to be careful when selling these properties. I am afraid that this Government—and future Governments—will always have destitute people in its midst. These are people who have fallen on hard times, not necessarily deliberately but owing to circumstances, and are now merely seeking a rehabilitation place. In my own constituency—this is very interesting—I met three people who wanted to find their feet in that Government village and today they own beautiful homes in Farrarmere, a brand new development adjacent to that village. For many people that Government village was a place where they could find their feet again and start a new life.

What do such people want? They do not want wall-to-wall carpeting. All they want is a decent roof over their heads. All they want is a structure to that meets their basic requirements. At that stage they are also looking for a reasonable rental. That, ultimately, is what we are giving them here. I am well aware that during the past financial year the Government suffered a loss of R500 000 on Government villages. I want to suggest to the hon the Minister that we write off this R500 000 with great pride as an honorary contribution towards helping our people onto their feet again, as an honorary contribution towards giving people a chance when life has treated them badly.

There is another request I want to make to the hon the Minister and his department. Some of these structures really do not look very neat. We can at least keep them neat. We should at least keep them clean. We should at least keep them at such a level that these people can be proud of them. In the same breath I want to say that these properties and facilities are so sought-after that in my constituency people are even complaining about favouritism because certain people may live in the village while others want to live there as well. The village in Benoni is not neat, but these people are very grateful for the contribution which the State is making.

There is a final point I want to make. With the threat we are faced with and our defence effort, and since we are virtually waging a war, the State has erected structures throughout the country and in South West Africa for military purposes. We hope that all this will eventually be something of the past. This is our intention and this is what we are working towards. I want to ask that before we demolish those structures, we should carefully consider whether they cannot be re-used, in one form or another, for a good purpose. There is neat and solid brickwork in these places. Why can these existing structures not be used as Government villages with a view to social welfare, child care and rehabilitation in order to house people? For example, in the Government village in my constituency there is a nursery school to which people living outside the village also send their children. These are wonderful institutions and opportunities being made available where people can supply a service at a very low cost in a far wider field than the concept “Government village” usually suggests.

I want to thank the Government for the major task it is performing in this connection to provide many people with housing.


Mr Speaker, in speaking about Government villages today, I am doing so from personal experience, because I have a military camp consisting of timber and brick houses in my constituency which provides housing for many pensioners today. Not only pensioners live there, but also people receiving disability pensions. There are also quite a number of widows living there. Some of the residents are the wives of people in detention and others who cannot find accommodation elsewhere for themselves and their children. That is why I want to say at the outset that we shall support this legislation whole-heartedly.

The Bill in fact consists only of consequential amendments to the 1973 Act because the Director-General is now replacing the Secretary. The Director-General may now also delegate a power conferred upon him to an official. This will facilitate and speed up action in this connection. If the Director-General is elsewhere engaged, this official can give immediate attention to the problems which may arise in the village. On behalf of the people in my constituency I should like to support this amendment because their lives and facilities will be improved thereby.

In the legislation, Secretary is being replaced by Director-General. I feel that in future these people will get where they want to be far more quickly and easily. In the past the Secretary had control over the buildings, land, streets and services. In the case of my constituency these services were provided by the Municipality of Germiston, although the land itself fell under Johannesburg. Johannesburg compensates Germiston for the services rendered there. The Secretary also allocated and withdrew housing. He could do so without a court order. He also collected rent and entered into agreements. Since it is now being provided that some of these houses will be made available for purchase, I want to ask, as did a previous hon speaker, that those people who are residing in the houses at present should be given first option to purchase them. In the second place, I want to ask that in cases where a lessee cannot afford a house, he should not be evicted for the sake of someone else who could possibly afford to live in another suburb. I also want to ask that the prices of the houses be based on the historical cost. Bearing in mind that Blacks can purchase their houses at the historical cost of the house, I ask that these houses also be made available to the people in this way. They should therefore only pay what the house originally cost.


Mr Speaker, we thank the hon member for Germiston District and her party for their support for the legislation. I think we can give both the hon member for Germiston and the hon member for Hillbrow the assurance that the aspects they raised regarding the application of the legislation will certainly be complied with to their satisfaction.

I am sure that enough has already been said about this short piece of legislation. However I am grateful for the opportunity to add something out of sympathy for the residents of one specific town in my constituency with which I am acquainted, namely Cradock Place in Port Elizabeth. This is a short piece of legislation of very limited scope, but I feel that it is extremely good news for the people affected. These are people who long to own a home of their own, people from an economic class for whom home ownership, which is now being placed within their reach, would normally be totally impossible, and may thus far have been only an unattainable ideal or even merely a dream. This is now becoming a reality for them and for that reason I believe that there will be tremendous gratitude, albeit in a limited circle, for this considerable benefit they are now receiving. The hon the Deputy Minister said this was linked to the Government’s ambitious programme of making 500 000 houses available and we are grateful that housing is now also within the reach of this small group of people. There are seven of these villages, and a total of approximately 1 300 houses involved. As the hon the Deputy Minister has said, the intention is to transfer the property to the people who are living there at present. In this connection we can no doubt assume, as other hon members have also argued, that the people at present occupying the houses will be given first option. Most of the residents of the town I know about, are simply not able to help themselves, and without State subsidies they will never be able to own their own homes. There are approximately 196 residents and only 19 of them would be able to buy houses for themselves without very considerable subsidization by the State. The rest would have to rely on subsidies to be able to purchase houses.

Because we are dealing here with people from the lowest economic level, I want to agree with what previous speakers said, namely that we should not only give good news to those people who are able to purchase the houses but also to those people who are not. I am thinking, for example, of the aged poor who are also living there, and I ask that they be afforded the opportunity to continue to rent their houses. I do not know whether this is a revolutionary suggestion, and the hon the Deputy Minister should indicate what his opinion is with regard to my argument that some of those houses should still be made available to the people to rent. I trust that this will be possible.

The hon member for Hillbrow suggested various possibilities with regard to the method of transfer. The Bill now provides that the State may take over control and sell the land, but in this specific case there is the added complication that only the houses belong to the State, whereas the land belongs to the municipality. In this connection there are various methods the State could resort to. For example, the State can negotiate with the municipality so that the land can be transferred to the State. The State can then subdivide the land, a township can be established and the land can then be transferred to the buyers in the usual way. Another possibility is that an agreement can be reached with the municipality in terms of which the municipality itself will transfer the land to the purchasers as soon as a township has been established, in which case there will of course be a predetermined formula in terms of which the purchase price will be divided between the State and the municipality.

In my opinion the modus operandi is of lesser importance. I feel it will be easy to find a way to have the transfer effected in a meaningful way. What is, important however, is that the opportunity to purchase a house is now being afforded people who would otherwise never have dreamed of owning a home of their own, and there will be tremendous gratitude about this, particularly in the case I have mentioned.

I should also like to take this opportunity to thank the Government most sincerely for the opportunity which these people are being given to own their own homes. The Government, and the Department of Community Development in particular, have a proud record as regards the provision of housing, and although this addition is a small one, it is a significant contribution to the process of housing our people. We are grateful for this and praise the Government for this wonderful gesture to the under-privileged people in our country.


Mr Speaker, we in the NRP will also be supporting this Bill. I should like, however, to re-emphasize a couple of the points made by the hon member for Hillbrow because I regard them as very important. The most important one of all—in view of the fact that these properties are for sale—is of course that under no reasonable circumstances should they be sold in such a manner that the present occupants are put out into the street. I believe one can reasonably rely upon the department to make sure that that will indeed not be the case. I would nonetheless like to have some sort of an assurance in this respect because the people involved are not amongst the more fortunate elements in our community. The people living in most of these houses are of the less fortunate elements in our society. Therefore I believe it is important that this assurance be given otherwise they would be very worried people indeed.

Furthermore, I should like again to support very strongly what the hon member for Hillbrow said in respect of sectional titles. I happen to know one of those villages quite well—Oribi village. I should say it would be extraordinary difficult to embark upon a sectional title project in respect of that particular village. It is not unduly difficult, I believe, to have the properties surveyed and subdivided into individual plots and then sold by separate title. This would save an awful lot of trouble for the people concerned. I realize that in many respects they would not comply with the rules and regulations of local authorities as they apply at the present moment. The department, under the appropriate circumstances, can nevertheless override those regulations, as we know. Should the particular local authority become a bit sticky about it, bad luck then for that local authority.

Further, I would suggest—and I assume that this is probably being considered—that instead of setting up separate little village councils or whatever bodies to run these villages, these houses that are going to be sold should where possible be alienated to the local authority as part of the local authority area. I do not know where these other areas are and how they are set up in relation to local authorities. Certainly, however, Oribi village could easily be alienated to the Pietermaritzburg municipal area as part of the Pietermaritzburg City Council area. I would say those properties should be sold. They are obviously very old fashioned. They were not expensively built. Some of them have been modernized to some degree. I remember, about four or five years ago, the department spent a lot of money on Oribi village, replacing baths and floors, doors and all sorts of things, and also repainting many of those dwellings. Nonetheless they are still very old fashioned. Furthermore they are not very elegant properties, and should therefore go for a reasonable price.

Certainly the amount of capital the Government would spend on them must be very, very little indeed. I should therefore like to suggest that instead of thinking about profits going to a municipality or anybody else, those properties should be sold as cheaply as possible to the present incumbents, possibly with a five or seven-year reversion clause if the occupants should try to sell them before that period has expired.

I believe that if those properties are sold—which is the intention—they would be upgraded because even some of the less affluent people are willing to spend time and money on upgrading a property of their own, even if they do not have very much. I believe therefore this would be a good idea. It would also enhance their standard of living. It would further give them a pride of home ownership and a sense of security. I am therefore very, very strongly in favour of this.

In so far as the Bill itself is concerned there is only one question I should like to put to the hon the Deputy Minister. In terms of clause 3 of the Bill a new section 4A is to be inserted after section 4 of the principle Act. The proposed new section 4A(1) reads as follows:

The Director-General may delegate any power conferred upon him by this Act to any officer in the public service.

Surely, I take it this should be someone above a particular rank. “Any officer” can go very low down the scale. I feel there should be some indication as to how far down the scale that should go. I hope the hon the Deputy Minister will give us a reply to this question.

Mr Speaker, we in these benches are very delighted to support the Bill at Second Reading, and we will also be supporting it through all other stages.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Umbilo referred to Oribi. Oribi does not fall into my constituency but into the constituency of the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South, and many of the residents of Oribi voted for him during the last election. [Interjections.]

I want to emphasize once again what a number of hon members have said. In Pietermaritzburg we value the fact that our local authority and also Oribi Village provide a stock of low-cost housing which is available for letting to people. Whites also have problems in regard to urbanization. In Pietermaritzburg, for example, we have had a tremendous influx of White people mostly from Zimbabwe. We have been able to accommodate them in housing because we had this stock of low-cost housing as well as housing that was let to single people on condition that if married people or families had to be accommodated, they would have preference. That housing was controlled by the municipality and Oribi village also helped in this regard to some extent. I believe that it is in the national interest that every urban centre have some stock of low-cost and cheap housing in order to deal with the influx of people. What often happens is that once people become settled they improve their position and they can then move out and obtain better quality housing. These Government villages will, generally speaking, certainly fall into that category.

The second aspect of this Bill that we welcome is that for many people the opportunity to acquire a Government village property and freehold title thereto may well be the means by which they can move up the ladder in terms of assets. We all know that land and access to property is the best way of acquiring wealth, and there are many people who, as a result of a buying scheme through the old Department of Housing and the Department of Community Development, have been able to acquire a home and eventually to sell it and buy a bigger and better one and so improve themselves. Therefore we welcome this too.

The third aspect to which I wish to refer—and in this I associate myself with what has been said by other hon members—is that we have to be careful that we do not find ourselves creating slum conditions. This could happen if we sell these properties very cheaply. This could also be done under sectional title and I also believe that some of these military camps will be very difficult to divide up into sensible independent units. We could well find ourselves creating very difficult situations indeed to control.

We want to support this Bill but we also want to emphasize once again, as has been done by hon members on all sides of the House, that it is in the national interest that we as members of Parliament ensure that the members of the lower income groups, the people who often are not in a position to help themselves or who are victims of circumstances over which they have no control, are provided with housing of some kind or other. I believe that that is an important thing to provide in a compassionate society.


Mr Speaker, I wish to thank hon members for their support and also for their unanimity in supporting this measure.

The hon member for Pietermaritzburg North had the same recurring theme in his speech which was the theme of the speeches of all hon members and that was that he urged me not to sell all the stock and to retain some letting stock for the lower income groups. Obviously that will be done. All of these dwelling units will most decidedly not be sold. The hon member also mentioned the pride of home-ownership to which I shall return later in my speech.

In an earlier debate the hon member for Berea castigated me in respect of a speech that I had made earlier in the session on the question of consensus. We had a demonstration of consensus this afternoon to indicate that when one introduces a good and positive measure such as this it is not difficult to find consensus. [Interjections.]

I thank the hon member for Hillbrow for his support. He said that he gave preference to township proclamation rather than to selling these units under sectional title. Obviously there will be township proclamation in the Government villages where these units are sold. These stands will be surveyed and sold where possible under separate title, but there could be instances where these dwelling units are adjoined. I do not know whether that is the position, but if that were the position, they would obviously have to be sold under sectional title. We, too, give preference to separate title and that will be done where possible.

*The hon member for Brentwood himself has a Government village in Benoni, in his constituency. I have a bulky file in my office containing correspondence that the hon member has exchanged with me. He is a person who has the interests of those people at heart. He was dissatisfied with the renovation and repair work that we did there, and he insisted that some of our officials pay a personal visit there. He wrote several letters to me and his voters must take cognizance of the fact that he is a person who really takes an interest in these matters.

The hon member also gave an interesting history of Acacia Park. Acacia Park, too, was one of these former military camps. Acacia Park is being excluded from this scheme …


That is a pity.


… and therefore these sales do not apply to the occupants of Acacia Park. There will be another reason, too. I think the means test may trip them up, particularly after the latest 12% increase. Accordingly I must, to my regret, inform the hon member that Acacia Park is being excluded.

The hon member added that these towns should not only contain dwelling units. They should not be merely dormitory towns, but should comprise a full-fledged community with all its community facilities. He also referred to unutilized buildings there which could be used as community halls, nursery schools and so on. I should be much obliged if the hon member could bring to our attention any such useful buildings in the Government villages that could be coverted for community purposes. I agree wholeheartedly with him—we must have full-fledged towns.

The hon member for Germiston District also has a Government village in her constituency. She spoke with much feeling about the service provided there. She spoke about “the widows in detention”, but I find this a very strange phenomenon and I should like to speak to her in private about these widows in detention. [Interjections.] The hon member asked that the occupants be given the first option to purchase that dwelling.

Of course that will happen. I want to give the very firm assurance that a unit will certainly not be sold over someone’s head. When that occupant is not in a position to purchase the unit, he will be able to remain in it as a lessee. I can state that very categorically.

It is a pity that that specific hon member is the only one who introduced a somewhat discordant note here by saying that we were selling Blacks properties at historical prices and that she was concerned that we would not sell these properties to Whites at historical prices. Surely it is not correct that we are selling properties to Blacks at historical prices. That is by no means correct. We have a formula that was worked out for us by quantity surveyors and which gives us, for every property, a factor of its value as against its historical cost for every year right back to the war years when those properties were built. The property is sold at that price and on the same conditions as the imaginative scheme involving 500 000 other units that the hon the Minister has already informed this House about so extensively. I deplore the hon member’s insinuation that we are benefiting Blacks to the detriment of Whites.

The hon member for Sunday’s River spoke with great compassion about the Government village in his constituency, Cradock Place. He spoke in glowing terms about home-ownership and I want to say to him that I am just as excited as he is about home-ownership. Seventy per cent of White families are home-owners today. If it should be possible to increase this percentage to 80%—I believe it could be done—then we must set ourselves that ideal. Home-ownership is the corner-stone of the policy of the Department of Community Development. It is now possible in this regard, as the hon member indicated, to place home-ownership within their means for the occupants of those Government villages—something that used to be an unattainable ideal—because those houses are going to be sold at prices that will be far lower than prices on the open market. If we can place home-ownership within the means of those people, then that will certainly be something to get very excited about.

†The hon member for Umbilo asked for the assurance that all the units will not be sold and that we will retain some as letting stock. Obviously that will be done. What percentage of the 1 280 will be retained as letting stock, I cannot tell him, but I can give him the assurance that it will be a substantial number of them. That is why I specially mentioned in my Second Reading speech that this Bill empowers the Minister to proclaim a part of a Government village to be sold.

The hon member also asked whether we should not alienate these Government villages to local authorities. My goodness, Sir, I wonder whether my department would cry if that were to happen, because we are spending several hundreds of thousands of rands annually on the maintenance of these Government villages. I however wonder whether local authorities would be in a position and would be willing to bear that burden. However, it is a matter we can consider and we will look into it. He also suggested that we upgrade those dwellings before we sell them.


No, you misunderstood me. I said that many of them had been upgraded but that many are still old-fashioned.


I am glad I misunderstood the hon member. I thought he was too sensible a person to make such a suggestion. I am sure the new owners would want to put some of their own sweat equity into those dwellings. They want to put on their own coat of paint, they want to fix the windows and they want to fix the doors. That is part of the pride they have in home ownership.


May I ask you a question? The hon the Deputy Minister referred to the speech of the hon member for Germiston District and said that the price of houses in Soweto was not calculated on an historical basis. Can he tell us on what basis it was calculated?


I regret that the hon member was not listening, because I have just explained that in detail. We had a team of quantity surveyors work out a formula for us. We take the historical costs into account and then allocate a factor for each year. For example, if a house was erected in 1957 at a cost of R1 000, a certain factor applies to it. If that factor is, say, 2,3, then that house is sold at the historical cost plus the factor of 2,3.


I still say that that is based on the historical cost of the house.


It is not the historical cost; the hon member must understand that fully. I do not wish to argue with the hon member. We worked hard and took a long time to find this formula and I do not think the hon member could give us a better one. [Interjections.] The hon member for Jeppe is displaying his lack of information here this afternoon. It is a pity, because it was not my intention to end on this unpleasant note. This is something to get excited about and if one can bring home-ownership within the means of the lower income group, then one has done something important.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a Second Time.

Bill not committed.

Bill read a Third Time.


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a Second Time.

The amending Bill which is before the House is intended to amend the Wage Act, and one of the ways in which this will be done is by bringing it into line with the Government’s decisions as contained in the White Paper on the report of the National Manpower Commission concerning the functions of the Wage Board which was tabled last year.

In terms of clause 1, persons for whom any labour matter is regulated by an order made in terms of section 51A of the Labour Relations Act are excluded from the ambit of a wage determination. What happens in practice is that a wage determination exists for a particular industry and that an order is then made in which better conditions of service are prescribed.

This amendment is being introduced in order to remedy a shortcoming in the Act by laying down clearly that when an order is made, the conditions of service in terms of that order prevail and have priority over a wage determination.

Section 3 of the Act is being amplified in order to extend the functions of the Wage Board to such an extent that it will be able to advise the Minister with regard to the exercise of his power to instruct the board institute an investigation into a particular industry or trade. The board may do this on the basis of information obtained in the performance of its functions or specifically gathered for this purpose.

In terms of the existing provision, the board has to decide whether an investigation should be undertaken by a member of the board alone or in conjunction with an additional member. Section 4 is being amended to provide that the chairman or the temporary chairman may take such a decision in order to expedite the administrative procedure.

These, Sir, are the proposed amendments in broad outline.


Mr Speaker, clause 1 provides that a determination shall not apply to a person in respect of any matter regulated by agreement, notice, determination and award, and to this is now added “order”. The effect of this can be very beneficial. Over a period it will increase the flexibility, particularly the geographic flexibility, with which wages are established.

At this stage I want to say something in general about wages. I think that the question of the wage gap is an emotive one. A lot of damage can be done by trying to close the wage gap too rapidly. Low productivity and high wages actually end up denying people opportunities. If wages are too high and too rigid, I believe that the people they are intended to benefit can frequently be the ones who suffer most. In fact, it is quite interesting to note that frequently a union, which previously has been an all-White union and which is faced with having to take in Black members, immediately takes refuge behind a high fixed wage rate. This, of course, gives people in the union a large degree of protection against a group of people who are being emancipated over a period. There is no protection in building fortresses. I think that the Bill we have in front of us will create a certain flexibility territorially which will enable people to use what is a genuine natural advantage of a particular area when they are considering establishing an industry there.

Clause 2 adds to section 3 of the principal Act subsection (12) which provides for a board to gather certain information and in certain circumstances to give advice to the Minister. Clause 3 has the effect of increasing the authority of the chairman. We have no objection to these clauses and we will consequently be supporting the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I should like to congratulate the hon member for Walmer on a good contribution. In the field of labour, the flexibility to which he referred is very important. I believe that this side of the House agrees whole-heartedly with the ideas he expressed.

I should also like to congratulate the hon the Minister from this side of the House on his appointment as Minister of Manpower. This is the first time he has piloted a Bill through this House in this capacity, and I want to assure him that we on this side of the House appreciate the responsibility resting on him and that we will certainly make our contribution towards facilitating his task, not only as a Minister but also in the service of South Africa and of the workers of South Africa.

In this Minister we have a person who has the ability to negotiate, a person who is prepared to listen to the needs of the workers in South Africa. Knowing him, we also know that his door will always be open to them. The voice of the worker must be heard in South Africa, and this must be done in a responsible way. This Minister has a good track record in this connection. That is why we are grateful for the fact that he has been appointed Minister of Manpower. We wish him well with the great responsibility which now rests upon his shoulders.

The Bill which is before the House is intended to make it easier for the Wage Board to show greater initiative. It also gives effect to an existing practice. When one examines the way in which the Wage Board functions at the moment, one sees that an existing practice is in fact being confirmed in this measure. The function of the Wage Board is more explicitly defined in this Bill. I believe that it is important that the Wage Board should be able to take the initiative in instituting investigations. Sir, you may ask: Why?

†Every worker in South Africa has the right to compensation for the work done for his employer and to fair conditions of service such as maximum normal daily and weekly working hours, payment for overtime, vacation and sick leave. Workers may exercise these rights in various ways. In organized industry, for instance, where employees are represented on industrial councils by the registered trade unions, they can negotiate on equal terms with employers for fair conditions of service. In industries where there are no industrial councils the rights and interests of workers are protected by the determination of conditions of service by either the Wage Board or conciliation boards. Therefore this measure before us now is very important.

As for industries which are only partially organized or not organized at all the Minister of Manpower from time to time directs the Wage Board to investigate the wages and conditions of service of workers in a specific industry. In the course of such an investigation the Wage Board affords employees ample opportunity to make representations—this is very important—either orally or in writing, considering the conditions of service that should be laid down. In certain circumstances workers who are not satisfied with their conditions of service may apply to the Minister for the appointment of a conciliation board where they may negotiate on equal terms with their employers on the conditions of service which gave rise to the dissatisfaction. In two Acts which are applicable to shops, offices and factories, provision is also made for the right of workers to claim certain conditions of service. This means that when industrial councils, the Wage Board or conciliation boards determine conditions of service, they must comply with certain standards, for example, with regard to working hours, overtime pay and annual leave as laid down in these two Acts.

I should like to come back now to what the hon member for Walmer said. The right of workers to fair compensation also brings with it certain obligations and responsibilities. When a worker exercises his right to ask for higher wages he must also do his fair share. Higher wages without increased productivity will in the long run be to the detriment of the worker himself as well as of the employer and the economy of the country as a whole; in other words, regular wage increases that are not accompanied by higher production may lead to price increases which should soon cancel out the wage increases and exacerbate the problem of inflation.

To sum up, as much as a worker has a right to demand wages and conditions of service commensurate with a decent standard of living, the employer has the right to demand from his worker the quality and volume of work required to ensure the continued existence of his enterprise.

*As the hon the Minister has pointed out, this important amending Bill, the Wage Amendment Bill, arises from a report on the principle and application of a national minimum wage, with specific reference to the Republic of South Africa. The investigation was conducted by the National Manpower Commission. Allow me to read a few paragraphs. I quote:

The NMC considered the possibility of giving the Wage Board greater freedom of action in terms of the Wage Act to enable it to institute on its own initiative investigations into the wage position of an industry and area, as well as in respect of classes of employees.

Arising from this, I quote further:

This proposed procedure and the statutory authorization required would place the Wage Board in much the same position as the Competition Board, which was instituted in terms of section 3 of the Maintenance and Promotion of Competition Act.

I quote further:

The NMC is of the opinion that, should a similar arrangement become applicable to the Wage Board, it would be placed in a position, on the strength of its knowledge, research and insight, to make the necessary investigation into industries under its jurisdiction in which there are problems in respect of wage determination and bargaining.

The NMC is also in favour of consideration being given to the adjustment of the statutorily prescribed procedure of the Wage Board in order to give a measure of autonomy in respect of proposed investigations. Although the Wage Board does at present suggest to the Minister the desirability of certain investigations at an administrative level, an explicit provision in the Wage Act could be of benefit. For example, it would probably give greater satisfaction to the parties that are dependent on the Wage Board and it would also enhance the status of the Wage Board as part of the wage-regulating mechanism. In practice, this would also mean that wage determination mechanisms similar to the Wage Board would have to be introduced in the different parts of the country, as the hon member for Walmer rightly said, and would have to be centrally co-ordinated by a body such as the present Wage Board. Such a system could be of benefit, since a decentralized wage determination structure would be better equipped to deal with the circumstances unique specific areas.

Arising from this recommendation and report of the NMC, a White Paper was tabled on the reports of the NMC. and on page 9, paragraph 1.3, of the White Paper we read the following:

The statement of policy in this White Paper should be seen as a further indication that the Government is serious about taking the necessary measures to attain its national goals in the socio-economic field in general and the field of manpower in particular, as well as the implementation of the related policy standpoints and to use suitable policy instruments.

On page 12, paragraph 2.4, we read:

The Government is aware of the criticism that the Wage Board does not have sufficient room for manoeuvre within the framework of its enabling legislation to carry out its task properly. As indicated in the NNW report, however, this view is apparently based on misunderstandings and nescience in so far as the method of work of the Wage Board in practice is concerned. The Wage Board itself in fact initiates virtually all investigations and its proposals are submitted to the Minister for the issuing of formal directives. The annual investigation programme of the Wage Board is also passed to it by the Minister of Manpower only after he has consulted this body.

Furthermore, paragraph 2.4.3 is also important. It reads as follows:

The Government is prepared to formalize this procedure by amending the Act in such a manner that the Wage Board would be able to undertake investigations completely on its own initiative provided that the Minister is informed thereof at the outset.

In the light of this exposition, I believe that the Bill should receive the support of all sides of this House.


Mr Speaker, on behalf of this side of the House I should like to congratulate the hon the Minister on his appointment to this particular post. I trust that he will do very good work in the interests of the worker.

After the exposition given by the hon the Minister of the contents of the amending measure, and after the detailed discussion of the amendments by two other hon members, I believe that hon members know exactly what the three amendments involve. Consequently, I am not going to weary this House by repeating exactly what each of these amendments entail. Since the amendments are of such a nature that they are, firstly, important to the worker; secondly, of a non-contentious nature; and, thirdly, since they are corrections which serve to clarify certain obscurities, we on this side of the House support the Bill.

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