House of Assembly: Vol112 - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY 1984
QUESTIONS (see “QUESTIONS AND REPLIES”)
The House proceeded to the consideration of private members’ business.
Mr Speaker, I move:
- (1) the principles for the provision of education;
- (2) the standpoints on matters of principle that serve as points of departure; and
- (3) the decisions of the Government,
in the knowledge that the implementation thereof will lead to equal education opportunities for all, by means of which—
- (a) the potential of all the inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa can be realized;
- (b) economic growth in the Republic of South Africa can be promoted; and
- (c) the quality of life of all the inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa can be improved.
The White Paper on the Provision of Education in the Republic of South Africa of 1983 is probably one of the most important, if not the most important, White Papers of all times in the history of education in South Africa. It definitely represents the most comprehensive renewal in education which this country has ever experienced. It places education in this country on an entirely new course.
The publication of this White Paper emphasizes how important the Government considers education to be. On this occasion I wish to address a word of thanks to all persons who co-operated on the publication of the White Paper, which will usher in such an important era in the education of South Africa. I think that we not only owe those people a word of thanks, but also want to pay them a compliment on the excellent work that has been done in this connection.
It is a fact that the White Paper contains so many fine and positive things for education that we will probably not be able to debate it fully in the time allotted for this debate. I trust, however, that we will debate this matter frequently in the years which lie ahead.
In June 1980 the Cabinet requested the Human Sciences Research Council to conduct an in-depth investigation into education and all its facets. This report was received in June 1981 and was published in October 1981, together with an interim memorandum. Interested persons and bodies were requested to comment on the report and the three Ministers responsible for education were requested to consider the report. An Interim Education Working Party was appointed to advise the Ministers in this connection. This working party presented its report to the Minister of National Education in November 1982. After exhaustive consideration of the recommendations and findings of the HSRC and the working party, the Government published its White Paper on 23 November 1983 with a view in particular, and this is important, to improving the quality of education in the Republic of South Africa and providing education of equal quality for all population groups.
The Government undertook this scientific investigation because it accepted that it was its task to look after the interests of all its inhabitants and in that way ensure the greatest measure of spiritual and material welfare for all the citizens of the country. This was the predominant motivation for the launching of such an investigation. The aim is therefore equal education opportunities for all. This ideal we find throughout the White Paper. No one can deny that this is not the situation today. And this is not as a result of the unwillingness of the Government but as a result of practical problems, of which there are a vast number. In particular these problems centre around finding the necessary finances to make this possible at this stage and, secondly, the availability of qualified teachers. Everyone who knows anything about education, particularly for the other coloured groups, will realize that this is a great deficiency which causes a problem. Thirdly, there is also the problem of the school population explosion, particularly among the non-White groups as a result of compulsory education. In this way one could mention several other factors as well which combined to cause a lack of parity between the various education systems at this stage.
The Government is deeply aware of the importance of education as an integral and extremely important part of the existence of every people and population group. It accepts that when education is in a poor way, the culture, technology, labour and the economy and every other facet of the existence of a people will eventually suffer as a result. Since education is so closely interwoven with the existence of a people, it is logical that the principles of education will be developed from the fundamental philosophy and outlook on life of every community, as these must consequently find expression within the constitution.
The White Paper should be seen and assessed as an integral part of the new constitution. We can argue about this as much as we like, the fact of the matter is that one cannot separate education from the constitution of a country, not in the Republic of South Africa, nor in any other country in the world. That is why this White Paper confirms the philosophy of the Government on education by means of the recognition of the principle of the Christian and broad national character of education, as well as the principle of mother tongue education. I am convinced that no one can voice any objection to that.
Furthermore the education policy allows full scope, in accordance with the new constitution, for the self-determination of every population group over its own education as its own affair. The constitution is based on the principle of the preservation of the right of self-determination of the various peoples, as well as co-responsibility for matters of collective or common concern. For that reason a distinction is drawn between general and own affairs, and education is designated as an own affair. However, there are also certain general aspects to which I shall refer later.
I now want to analyse the constitution within the context of education. In section 14(1) the Constitution Act provides that matters which specially or differentially affect a population group in relation to the maintenance of its identity and the upholding and furtherance of its way of life, culture, traditions and customs are own affairs. Since the culture and education of a people or a population group are inseparable, as is accepted not only here, but throughout the entire world, it follows that education should be an own affair, as is formulated in the White Paper. For that reason education on all levels, including instruction by way of correspondence, the training of adults in the trades, the training of cadets at schools and official school sport are identified as own affairs in Schedule 1 to the Constitution Act.
I now wish to place the emphasis on official school sport, because this is so frequently wrested out of its context.
What is official school sport?
Just a moment; I shall reply to that.
We have drawn a distinction between official school sport, which forms part of the activities, and falls under the protection, of the school, and junior sport, which is controlled by a controlling body other than the school. That is the difference. This constitution now emphasizes very clearly that official school sport is considered to be an own affair. Consequently it will also be dealt with as such. The hon member for Kuruman ought to know that. If he does not know it, he should look it up.
Since there are also matters of common interest in the various education systems, particularly owing to the fact that the products of the various systems will operate on a common labour market, it is clear that education on all levels should be subject to any general law relating to such matters. These are firstly the norms and standards for the financing of running and capital costs of education. I want to place emphasis on norms and standards. Secondly there are the salaries and conditions of employment of staff. Thirdly there is the professional registration of teachers. I shall come back to that later. This relates to the professional registration of teachers and to nothing else. A fourth matter is the norms and standards for syllabuses and examinations and for certification of qualifications. Here we are dealing once again with the norms and standards of syllabuses. We are not concerned with whether the contents of syllabuses are a matter of common concern. This is a matter which belongs to every individual education system. Once again we cannot get away from the fact here that the products of these various education systems will ultimately find themselves on a common labour market. For that reason norms and standards must be set for the various systems. These general affairs do not therefore affect the contents of the education of each population group.
The criticism is frequently expressed, particularly from the right, that the allocation of finances in education is a matter of common concern and that the danger therefore exists that the available money for White education will be reduced to make greater provision for the education of other population groups. This is the scare story which hon members of the CP use to influence members of the public. Then of course they say that if this should happen, a lowering of the standard of White education is inevitable. This is the way those gentlemen argue. I want to state categorically today that this will not happen, that it is an untruth.
Tell the truth.
I want to refer to page 29 of the White Paper. I would be pleased if the hon members would give me a chance to do so. They should read what is stated there so that they can convey the whole truth to the public. On page 29 of the White Paper it is stated—these are the decisions by the Government:
What follows is very important:
I quote further:
It is therefore very clear that it is not true that the standard of the education of the Whites must be lowered as a result of the fact that the Government is endeavouring to create equal education opportunities for all. In addition we find in paragraph 11(3) of Schedule 1 to the Act that, over and above the allocation from the central Exchequer, a population group is being afforded an opportunity to impose an education levy which will be applicable only to its own population group and which will then be utilized on behalf of its own education. The story which is being disseminated that the standard of education of the Whites must inevitably be lowered, is therefore devoid of all truth.
In the interim memorandum which was published together with the report of the De Lange Committee, the Government accepted all 11 principles for the provision of education proposed in paragraph 2.3 of the report. Owing to a lack of time I cannot, unfortunately, go into all the details of these 11 principles. I am convinced however, that all educationists, all those who have the interests of education as such at heart, will endorse the 11 principles as they are indicated in the De Lange report.
The most important principle is that equal opportunities for education, including equal standards in education, for every inhabitant, irrespective of race, colour, creed or sex, shall be the purposeful endeavour of the State. It is also true, on the grounds of my argument at the outset, that these principles of the provision of education must go hand-in-hand with the specific premises as stated by the Government. That is why the Government very clearly defined these points of departure, to which I now wish to refer, at the same time as the report was published.
These points of departure are that the Government will continue to adhere to the Christian and broad national character of education. Secondly, the Government remains convinced that the principle of mother tongue education, as has also been accepted by the various education systems, is also periodically valid here in the Republic of South Africa. Thirdly, the Government affirms its policy that each population group should have its own schools. There may be differences of opinion about it, but this is the Government’s standpoint. The Government also believes that it is essential that each population group should also have its own education facilities and its own education departments, although the need for co-ordination is recognized.
I am aware that the PFP in particular adopts the standpoint that there should be only one ministry. We would be making a mistake if we were to regard the four different education systems in the Republic of South Africa as being homogeneous, for each of the systems has its own inherent problems and character. The achievements which have been attained by the Department of Education and Training in respect of Black education, the phenomenal progress that has been made, is attributable to the fact that specialized attention was given to the problems of Black education. In exactly the same way it is therefore in the interests of all the other education systems that specialized attention should be given to each of them.
I have already said that there is also a community of interests within the various education systems. For that reason the White Paper also makes provision now in that there is going to be a ministry of education for general affairs. Under this ministry will fall many of the matters seen by the De Lange report and the Education Working Party as belonging to one central ministry. Consequently we shall also find in this the solution that it will be possible to deal with matters of general concern within that specific ministry.
The Government found acceptable the principle of freedom of choice for the individual and for parents in educational matters and in the choice of a career, but once again within the framework of the policy that each population group should have its own schools. I make an appeal to hon members of the CP to accept this as well, and to try to refrain from creating the erroneous impression among the public that we are on the road to integration in the sphere of education, because that is a downright untruth. The Government also stated that all recommendations in the report should take due account of, and fit in with, the constitutional framework within which they had to be implemented. So much, then, for the points of departure and the constitution.
How does the White Paper succeed in giving expression to these fundamental points of departure? The cardinal point of departure of the new constitutional dispensation is the distinction which is being drawn between own and general affairs, and this runs like a golden thread through the White Paper and the future planning of education. Consequently I shall therefore leave it at that.
A disruption of the policy of separate residential areas for the various population groups is not acceptable. I emphasize once again that a disruption of the policy of separate residential areas for the various population groups is not acceptable, also in accordance with the principle which the Government has adopted. [Interjections.] Consequently the Group Areas Act will not be abolished for the establishment of schools. Every community must have its own schools and facilities.
In the third place the education of a specific population group, White, Coloured or Indian, will be administered as an own affair in the new dispensation by a Minister who is a member of a Council of Ministers, while education for Blacks, subject to any general policy, will be administered by a Minister who is a member of the Cabinet. The administration of general affairs with regard to education will be allocated to a Minister who is a member of the Cabinet. Consequently there will be five Ministers entrusted with education.
It is also clearly stipulated in the White Paper that the Ministers responsible for own educational affairs will not be subordinate to the Minister responsible for general education affairs. In the fourth place the various Government departments will be responsible for the education of Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Black people, respectively.
The Government accepts a policy advisory structure—and this is important—to provide the Minister responsible for general educational matters with advice, as well as a policy advisory structure in respect of each population group’s own educational affairs, which in each specific case will be established by the Council of Ministers and the House of Parliament concerned. As far as education for Whites is concerned, the present Committee of Heads of Education will continue to exist.
Consequently there will be separate advisory councils for education on the school level, as well as the SA Council for Education, which advises the Minister responsible for general affairs, and the Advisory Council for Universities and Technikons, which will advise the Ministers concerned on educational matters at universities and technikons as an own affair of the population groups concerned. The Committee for Education Structures and the Research Committee for Education Structures will continue to exist to advise the Minister responsible for general education matters on general policy in regard to remuneration and costs and career structures for educationists up to the highest level of education.
The Government agrees to the establishment of a teachers’ professional council for every population group, for all categories of the relevant teaching staff up to a secondary level, and a central registration body consisting of representatives of the various teachers’ professional councils. Furthermore there will be a committee of heads of executive education departments representative of the four Government departments responsible for the education of the respective population groups and of the Government department responsible for general educational matters.
The Government considers the determination of policy on a local level to be a matter which will have to be dealt with by the education authorities of each population group. The Government considers it desirable that parent representative bodies should be established on a local level, whether for each school or for groups of neighbouring schools. Consequently it is important that a balance should be struck between the say of the school and the teachers, the parents and the general communities. These three different groups will co-operate as a unit in the interests of education.
As far as Whites are concerned, the Government is in agreement that free education may be provided in schools which are maintained, administered and controlled by a Government department.
The Government has established beyond all doubt that education need not, but may in fact, be free of charge. Of course the report also indicated that no such a thing as absolutely free education exists because the cost of education always have to be borne by certain organizations, with the inclusion, of course, of parents.
Finally I should like to make an appeal to all members who have the interests of education in this country at heart. In this White Paper there is so much which is excellent and challenging that we should, as much as possible, discuss it in isolation from politics. I know that I myself argued that education forms part of the existence of a specific population group. When we adopt a specific philosophy, which we also want to apply to education, let us then please do so in a balanced way, without elevating politics as such when we discuss matters of this nature; particularly matters contained in the White Paper. I am making this appeal specifically because there is so much that is positive in this which can be recognized and accepted by all.
I want to refer to what Dr Garbers, chairman of the HSRC, recently said. He said, and I quote:
He went on to say:
I therefore make an appeal to hon members to ensure that our education in this country is dealt with in that manner. Furthermore, I wish to refer to statements that were made by Mr Franklin Sonn. He made no secret of the fact that he and his party reject the new constitutional dispensation. However he did say, and I quote him again:
He, too, therefore recognize the positive and the good aspects of this dispensation. I want to refer next to the Teachers’ Association of South Africa, which stated inter alia that the White Paper promised all inhabitants of South Africa a better deal. So I can continue to quote various organizations and bodies, including the Transvaal Teachers’ Association, which is the largest teachers’ association in the country, and which made an appeal to its members, within the framework of the new dispensation, to develop education in the best interests of everyone in South Africa.
It is therefore my privilege, Mr Speaker, to submit this motion to this House.
Mr Speaker, the speech of the hon member for Virginia had very little to do with the wording of his motion. Listening to the hon member, it occurred to me that his primary objective was to buoy up the anxious conservatives in that party after the defeat which the NP had suffered in Soutpansberg. Furthermore, I believe, he was trying to protect his seat, Virginia, because he knows that he is going to be faced with an onslaught from the CP as well as the PFP at the next election. [Interjections.]
There was very little in the hon member’s speech that spoke of new visions. On the other hand, a great deal of old-fashioned, outdated apartheid was presented to this House by the hon member. [Interjections.] If I have to sum up the essence of his speech very briefly, I believe he said that rigid apartheid in schools was absolutely essential in order to obtain the right to self-determination of the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians. According to him, that is the reason why education is to be an own affair under the new dispensation. Therefore every population group must have the exclusive right to take its own decisions about all its educational affairs. To the firm-principled NP, this is a fundamental principle, which is not negotiable at all. The NP, with its firmness of principle, will never make any concessions with regard to the right to self-determination of all population groups, never ever. Of course, there is an exception here and there, such as the Chinese community, and the urban Blacks in South Africa, of course. As far as the urban Blacks are concerned, this Nationalist Government, with its so-called firmness of principle, says: Forget about your right to self-determination with regard to your own education; forget about your education as an own affair. As far as the urban Blacks are concerned, this firm-principled Nationalist Party Government says: We shall simply make this a general affair, and then the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians will simply decide amongst themselves about the educational affairs of the Black man in South Africa. If the Blacks do not happen to like this, they will just have to lump it. As far as their right to self-determination is concerned, it remains a right which is exercised by the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians. In its breathtaking cynicism and boundless hypocrisy, this is a perfect example of what is going on in the NP today.
At this stage I should like to move the following amendment:
- (1) deplores the failure by the Government to respond positively and in good time to the key recommendations of the report of the main committee of the Human Sciences Research Council investigation into education in the Republic of South Africa;
- (2) protests against the blatant subjection of these recommendations to the dictates of the narrow apartheid ideology;
- (3) urgently calls upon the Government to declare that it will progressively phase out apartheid from education in the Republic of South Africa and bring about a system of education free of racial discrimination; and
- (4) commends the De Lange Committee for the positive recommendations contained in its report.”.
I just want to outline the timetable of the events surrounding this report.
†In June 1980 a request was made to the HSRC to undertake this investigation and, in a period of only 12 months, this team of fine and dedicated South Africans who were determined to give South Africa something really worthwhile in the field of education, produced a report that became available in July 1981. It was released in October 1981 and in November 1982 the workparty released a report—this was the workparty that was appointed to review the recommendations and to listen to and to assess all the responses from various members of the public, the teaching profession and other organizations. The White Paper was eventually published in November 1983 and supplied to everyone with the exception of Opposition speakers, and in January 1984 the Opposition eventually managed to obtain copies of the report.
The HSRC was given a mandate, a very fine mandate, a very broad mandate and a very useful mandate. They were given a mandate to carry out the inquiry in order to provide a basis for the formulation of an education policy by means of which the potential of all the inhabitants of the RSA could be realized, economic growth in the RSA could be promoted, and the quality of life of all the inhabitants in the RSA could be improved. Based on this mandate there followed an extensive, very valuable and excellent investigation and report.
Because I do not have the time to deal with all of them, I should just like to quote three of the principles which I believe to be the most valuable of the 11 principles that were accepted. Principle 1 reads as follows:
The second principle reads:
The third principle reads:
If these three principles are genuinely and determinedly carried out, if they should form the basis of education in our country, it will achieve the support of all the communities within our society and all the requirements of education within the South African society will be met. It will provide for our country not only the finest form of education, but it will in fact provide the basis for a prosperous and peaceful society in the future.
If one looks at the White Paper, one finds in it many noteworthy points, but I should like to read just this one sentence:
I wish that that were really the Government’s main purpose with this White Paper. I wish that that were really, in the fullest sense of those terms, the Government’s main intention. What has happened, however? Subsequent to the publication of the report, subsequent to the publication of the report of the working party and at a time when enthusiasm was running high and expectations were running high and we all hoped for something very good, the Government produced a White Paper which like cyclone Domoina poured a deluge of ice cold water over the recommendations contained in the report. There we see, as the hon member for Virginia has done this morning, one after the other of apartheid restrictions and measures being superimposed upon the recommendations contained in the report. Let me just read a few of them:
It is mentioned several times that self-determination is the principle which will be supreme to all the other principles. Let me quote from paragraph 3.3:
Further on it reads:
Still further on it reads:
The Government says that in 1982 the Education Working Party naturally had no knowledge of the new constitution. Why did the Education Working Party have no knowledge of the Government’s attitude in this matter? Why did the Education Working Party not know? Why were they not told that they can recommend what they like as long as it fits in strictly within the confines of the narrow policy of apartheid? Why were they not told that? Why did the Government not tell the De Lange Committee when they started their work that the Government wanted them to investigate education, that they wanted them to make recommendations, but one of the things that they should understand was that they could not go beyond the narrow confines of the ideology of apartheid because the Government would not allow anything to be done beyond those confines? Why did the Government waste the time and the energy and the efforts of those people? Why did the Government deceive them by allowing them to go ahead with a mandate which did not specify that apartheid would have to remain the pattern of education in the future?
The Government has pulled a strait-jacket over these recommendations which squeezes the vitality and the viability out of those recommendations. They mean very little after the Government has trimmed them to its apartheid requirements. What has happened here is that education is now going to be the tool of apartheid rather than being the instrument with which we can move away from apartheid.
Apart from the fact that the Government has frustrated and disillusioned the wonderful people who worked on that report, apart from the fact that the Government has disillusioned and frustrated the whole education community in South Africa, those people who were hoping for something better, hoping for a non-racial system free of apartheid, the Government has done South Africa a tremendous amount of harm. I want to ask the Government—the hon the Minister of National Education is present and he will possibly participate in this debate—whether it really understands what the De Lange Committee was trying to do for South Africa. Does the Government really understand what the intent and purpose of this committee’s report was? The De Lange Committee does not say that apartheid should be scrapped, nor does it say that apartheid should be retained. Very intelligently and helpfully it has proposed a structure which will allow the Government to phase out apartheid, to get rid of the restrictions of apartheid in education in South Africa. For example, the De Lange Committee recommended very sensibly that all education—they have good reasons, which everybody can understand and which one does not have to explain—should be under the control of a single Ministry, which can carry out all the co-ordination which is required and which can direct educational matters at top level, which can see to it that resources are made available where they are needed and, most important of all, which could have been the point of departure from where the Government could have worked down from the top removing apartheid from education and bringing about equal education, progressive education and education free of racial discrimination. The De Lange Committee handed that to the Government on a plate, but the Government has rejected that very important recommendation. In rejecting it the Government has in fact said that for all time education is going to be structured according to apartheid with vertical differentiation, separate educational institutions and separate education. Children are kept apart, teachers are kept apart and officials are kept apart. Contact and communication is prevented and that is bad for South Africa.
The De Lange Committee also recommended that bodies such as the SA Council of Education and others should clearly be multiracial bodies, that they should be non-racial, so that representatives of all the groups will have an opportunity of meeting, of exchanging ideas and of benefiting from each other’s expertise and knowledge. The Government now says that because of the constitution, as if the constitution had come out of the blue, all the wonderful things it wanted to do in education can no longer be done. The Government is saying that because of the new constitution it has to continue with apartheid.
The White Paper makes it clear that apartheid must and shall remain firmly entrenched in the educational system of South Africa. That is a tragedy for South Africa and its people. How committed is this Government to change and reform? Does the Government really want to bring about reform in South Africa, or is it just something it talks about. [Interjections.] I want to address myself to the hon the Minister now.
May I ask you a question?
No, I do not want to answer that hon member’s question. I want to talk to the hon the Minister and will reply to questions from him. I want to ask the hon the Minister, by way of illustration: How many psychiatrists does it take to fix a light bulb? It takes only one, but then there is a very important prerequisite, namely that that light bulb must really want to change. I now want to ask the hon the Minister whether this Government really wants to change. If it wants to change, all it has to do is to go back to the report of the De Lange Committee, throw the White Paper into the waste-paper basket, and use that report as an instrument to bring about equal education free of discrimination. Use the report as a means of getting away from apartheid. One can do it if one wants to. However, the question is whether one really wants to change.
It was with great interest that I read a speech made by the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs recently. Unfortunately he is not here now. He spoke about fact and fallacy. I read through his speech and I came across one fact and one fallacy. The fact is, and it is borne out by the White Paper:
The fallacy in the speech is the following:
Yet apartheid lives, thrives and exists in this White Paper which the Government has presented. I hope I have persuaded the Government and the hon the Minister of that.
I now want to refer to a few other things. Can the immense socio-economic and political problems with which we are faced in the next three decades in our society, be solved or can the educational system as envisaged in the Government’s White Paper contribute to the solution of those problems? I say “no”, and for a very good reason. I want to refer to a few of these problems, for instance population growth and urbanization. By the year 2020, which is just three decades away, there will be 1,28 million Asians, 4,22 million Coloureds, 6,32 million Whites and approximately 43 million Black people in our urban areas. That is a tremendous population explosion. Let us look at the predictions of what the position will be in the schools. Because of a lack of time I will only mention the figures for Blacks. In the year 2010 there will be 460 000 Whites in primary schools, almost 100 000 less than what there were in 1979, while Black primary school children will increase from 3,7 million to 7,5 million over that period. In other words, while the total for Whites will go down by 100 000, the figure for Blacks will rise by approximately 4 million. In secondary schools the White population will come down from 431 000 to 413 000, while the Black population in these schools will increase from 1 million to 5 million. If one looks at the Std 8 pupils for the period 1979 to 2010, Whites will come down from 79 000 to 70 000 and the Black population will increase from 205 000 to 819 000. As regards Std 10 pupils, White pupils will come down from 55 000 to 53 000 and the Blacks will increase from 80 000 to 562 000.
Can an apartheid system of education, which is tremendously wasteful in terms of manpower, energy and money with all the other problems which it has caused, meet this challenge? Can this challenge be met by a situation where the Group Areas Act is maintained? The White Paper states that it does not matter how many White schools are empty, they will not be used for Black school children because it is contrary to the ideological policy of apartheid of the Government.
That has nothing to do with it.
It has a lot to do with it.
†Can you meet those challenges while that attitude prevails in the mind of the Government? What about the trained manpower requirements? With a 4,5% growth we need to train 23 000 skilled workers per annum. We are training only 10 000 now. We need to train 9 500 technicians per annum. We are training only 2 000 now. Can this problem and challenge be met if universities are not allowed to open their doors to whatever student wants to study there, irrespective of colour? Can it be met if our White technikons are not open to members of the Black, Coloured and Indian groups? Can it be met if our colleges are not allowed to admit whom they like? I do not think so.
I now want to refer to the teacher requirements from now to the year 2020. We need 25 000 Whites, 23 000 Coloureds, 7 000 Asians and 245 000 Blacks. Can the challenge be met of producing those teachers in those numbers if at White colleges today there are hundreds of vacancies but the Government says one cannot fill them with Black teachers? If a college is being closed in Graaff-Reinet because there are not enough White students for that college, why is it not used for members of another race group? If one is determined to continue with the policy of apartheid, then one is doomed to fail in one’s attempt to meet these challenges which are facing our country.
There is a further point I should like to make. It concerns separate education. Separate education is a holy cow to the Government. It is one of those fundamental principles from which the Government will never depart. However, I think that in five years’ time or so we will talk the Government out of it. Separate education will, unfortunately, always be perceived as unequal by the other groups in our society. One can create schools of the same quality, one can spend the same amount of money on Blacks, Coloureds and Indians as one spends on Whites, one can give them the same facilities and equipment, but as long as there is a law which says that Black, Coloured, Indian and White children are not allowed to study together, it will be perceived by those groups as being a discriminatory measure and will be deeply resented. In addition, separate education costs much more. People have to travel longer distances to get to the school for their particular group. It is far more costly to duplicate all those services. It is therefore unwise to pursue that policy.
The most important reason why separate education is dangerous for our country is a simple one. Peace and prosperity in the future of this country will depend on many things, but they will depend particularly on sound inter-racial relationships, on sound race relationships, in South Africa. That cannot be achieved in any other way than by making provision for the development of understanding and co-operation between people of all colours. Ordinary people must be able to understand and learn to co-operate with one another. That can never be achieved in any other way than by allowing natural contact and communication between those people. If the Government is sincere about reform in South Africa, if it wants peace and prosperity, if it wants a future of stability for our country, then the most important requirement is that the people of South Africa must get to know one another. From the earliest age they should get to know one another by having the opportunity to communicate with one another. If they grow up in that way, the difficulties will not disappear, the prejudices will not disappear, the tensions will not disappear, but they will be greatly reduced and the potential for peace and prosperity will be greatly increased.
Lastly, I want to tell the hon member for King William’s Town, who is unfortunately not here, that we in the PFP understand the practical difficulties. We understand it when the hon the Minister speaks about human constraints on reform. The important point, however, is that the priciple cannot be compromised if one really believes in it. What is negotiable is one’s strategy, one’s timetable and one’s ways and means, but the principle cannot be compromised.
Mr Speaker, we trust that in future the official Opposition will use the hon member for Pinetown as their chief spokesman on education matters. They would do well to use the hon member for Bryanston in a different capacity. The hon member devoted three-quarters of the time at his disposal to the concept of integration and in the process came nowhere near the essence of the motion before this House and the purpose for which it was moved.
Does the hon member admit that education is part of the total cultural heritage of a population group? He is not paying attention now. Let me rather ask the hon member Prof Olivier. Does he admit that education forms part of the cosmos culture from which man develops?
The hon member agrees with me. However, he is not the only one who agrees with me. A member of the PFP who occupies a fairly important position on the Johannesburg city council, also recognizes that principle. I do not know her personally. I only read her statements. I refer to Mrs Molly Kopel. I note that the hon member for Bryanston is now paying attention. Perhaps he knows her. [Interjections.] This woman is the “spokesman for a leading employment agency”. In other words, she deals with applications for employment. She had the following to say, inter alia (Star, 9 January 1984):
She is referring to Black education:
This is, after all, a fact. The woman is not wrong in her findings. Education forms part of the cosmos in which the child grows up. It is a total structure. Education is not merely a single phase. This is fact and we recognize it. The hon the leader of the CP will also agree with us. This White Paper is the foundation on which education will be built in this country in the future, and it will bear all these major responsibilities. It makes provision for them. We should not hold it against the Whites that they want to cherish and keep unto themselves, with love, pride and dedication, what is theirs—their children, their schools and their education.
Hon members need only attend an interschool athletics meeting between Afrikaans or English-language schools to gain an impression of the spirit that prevails there. I see the hon member Prof Olivier is shaking his head. [Interjections.] He broke away from these things long ago. What lies at the root of this spirit that prevails? We find that when two school teams are playing against each other, the fathers in the opposing camps, who played against each other in 1937, still experience the match in the same way. This is part of a proud heritage and we should not hold it against a particular population group if it wanted to preserve it as part of its heritage.
The hon member made a long speech about the supposed dissatisfaction regarding the White Paper.
Only the minority report.
I do not want to argue with the hon member. We also read the newspapers. I have here a pile of criticism from the news media. However, I am going to reduce it to two basic elements. I shall quote the leaders among those persons who appear in it. There is Mr Peteni, a leader of a professional education body. There are other people too. For the most point the criticism levelled by those people concerned two factors that are real, and not imaginary.
The one is the lack of ability and inadequate quality of their teachers. Criticism of the low matric pass rate has been expressed. There are also other factors, inter alia class boycotts. This is a major factor. Nowadays the content of a curriculum is such that a child who is absent from, say, mathematics classes for one to three months will find it very difficult to pass the examination. However, the greatest contributory factor is the inability of teachers to present the contents of their subjects at senior level, particularly as regards the difficult subjects prescribed for matriculation exemption. This is one matter about which they are unhappy. If hon members opposite had used their abilities, time and energy to support the hon the Minister’s request for funds so that we could give impetus to these matters, they would have used their time correctly. The quality of our teachers is time problem, and we on this side of the House realize this. The hon member for Waterberg was connected with the department and he ought to realize that this is an important matter, a problem area. The hon member for Lichtenburg then took over that post and therefore he knows what we are talking about. On occasion the hon member addressed teachers in Soweto and told those Black people that the problem for our children was the quality of the teachers. We are well aware of that.
The next matter about which criticism was voiced was that in the existing arrangement there was suspicion and prejudice against the Black student and Black people in education. This may be artificial, but this is a feeling among the people because we act according to the guidelines of the Government.
Every one of us in this House, however, knows that all children, be they White, Black, Coloured or Indian, have to be assimilated into an integrated economy after they have completed their studies. Do the hon members of the CP who also want to establish an independent state for the Coloureds, concede that they would not be able to survive without the participation of the Coloureds in the economy? In other words, because the Coloureds will also form part of the economy, the CP must somehow give them a say as regards standards and qualifications. Today they are being given an opportunity to tell us what their policy is. Do they go along with these proposals of the Government that there must be ways in which the various population groups can participate meaningfully in the regulating mechanism as a whole? [Interjections.] We are waiting to hear how the hon members of the CP are going to outline their policy, because this is the Government’s report and we are going to hear today to what extent they support it.
The hon member for Bryanston is arguing in favour of integration, but does he remember the “busing”, the enforced integration of education in America in the ’fifties? [Interjections.] Or was he not yet at school then? It is well known that during the ’fifties school integration was introduced in America. I have before me the latest research journal of RAU in which a brief reference is made to research undertaken in connection with “busing”, and they say, inter alia:
[Interjections.] I put it to the hon member Prof Olivier that these documents are available. The hon member for Bryanston referred to integration as slavishness, and said that with integration the tensions which at present exist, would disappear. Here, however, is proof that integration did not afford a solution in the USA.
We know there are education problems. Our aim is to supplement the shortcomings in education in a phenomenal process. A start is already to be made this year. That is why I am asking the CP for their support as well.
After all, the hon member for Lichtenburg did begin this. He initiated the matter and dealt with the legislation in this connection in this House. I am now referring to Vista University. We are therefore going to claim the support of the CP in the development of education facilities within the borders of the Republic of South Africa so that we can relieve this urgent need.
Mr Speaker, it is therefore a privilege for me to support wholeheartedly this wonderful motion, in the interest of everyone, in the interests of our economy, education and all other important aspects of society in South Africa.
Mr Speaker, I do not have much fault to find with the first part of the speech made by the hon member for Standerton, that part of his speech which dealt with the theme that the education of a specific people was rooted in its culture. I also endorse that view. Nor do I have fault to find with the idea which he expressed that Black education was saddled with the problem that its teaching staff was not yet adequately trained, and that they should be properly trained to be able to provide the population groups concerned with full-fledged education. For the time being, therefore, I shall leave the hon member at that.
While the hon member for Bryanston was speaking, the remark issued from the ranks of hon members on the Government side that the CP was going to say precisely the opposite of what the hon member for Bryanston said. For that reason I now want to point out in advance that if hon members had listened carefully to the hon member for Bryanston, they would have realized that he actually based his objection to the White Paper on the fact that there were separate schools for the separate population groups. In the second place he referred to the fact that there were separate departments of education. However, I want to tell the hon member for Bryanston in advance that those education departments, particularly those of the Whites, Coloureds and Indians, are in fact being subordinated to that central education department, which will in reality exercise control over them. [Interjections.]
If there is any question of apartheid left, that is where it ends in this White Paper. Apart from that, there is no question of real separateness at all. [Interjections.]
I want to agree with the hon member for Virginia when he says that this White Paper is so comprehensive, that it touches upon so many matters concerning education, that we were not really able, in the time we have at our disposal today, to make a full and in-depth analysis of its particulars, and could not conduct a proper discussion of the whole of this White Paper, and that we shall have to make use of further opportunities in future to discuss other aspects which could not be discussed today. The White Paper we have before use does not really deal so much in detail with the report of the HSRC in its entirety, but deals more particularly with the advice of the Interim Education Working Party.
In this connection I want to point out, in the first place, that a new education structure with new pedagogic ideas is being put forward in this report. Those to which I shall now refer are those which have met with relatively general approval, as well as relatively wide acceptance. These deal for example with the three phases of education which are provided, the guiding principles for a modular education structure, and so on. Consequently this is that part of the report which deals with the basic education, where we are concerned with the question of the bridging period, the preparation for school readiness, and then subsequently the basic educational periods and the post-basic educational periods. Included in this we also have the part played by the parent in the education which is foreseen as needing to be expanded further so that the parent will acquire a greater say in education. However, I wish to leave that aspect at that now, and deal with the motion of the hon member for Virginia itself.
The future education policy spelled out in this White Paper is spelled out in such a way that it must fit in with the new constitution. It has been framed and formulated to fit in with the prescriptions, the provisions, the demands which the new constitution is going to make. The decisions taken must serve, in full, the structure determined and prescribed in advance in respect of education in the Republic of South Africa in the new constitution. It deals with the question of own or general affairs, which I hope to be able to say something more about later. The fact of the matter is that the education policy is absolutely rooted in the new constitution, that it is indissolubly linked to it, that as far as its structures are concerned it is totally determined by it, and that, prescriptively, it is determined by the provisions of the new constitution, particularly as contained in the Schedule to that Act. We cannot escape from the fact that the report and the advice as received from the Interim Committee in essence offers a verligte education structure. In reality, an integrated education to a large extent inherent in this structure.
This report asks for one education department, one education system and one education structure. Because the Government is aware of the problems which this is going to create for it, it has not accepted certain of these key recommendations, or has otherwise partially accepted or partially watered them down, and in some circles this White Paper is considered to be contentious. I consider this White Paper to be contentious on the grounds of the fact that it leaves us with only the appearance of self-determination of the Whites, the Coloureds, the Indians and the Blacks over their own education. I say it leaves us with only an appearance or a semblance of that self-determination.
As is clearly apparent from the decision in the White Paper, the education policy fluctuates between a general central overarching department which is, inter alia, going to have policy-making powers, which is going to have financing powers, which is going to have the determining powers in respect of the standard of education and which is also going to prescribe the norms and standards for curricula, examinations and certifications, and the so-called own departments which are going to be subordinated to general policy and any general law. They are being totally subordinated to those two things.
Last year the hon the Minister of National Education said in this House that that central department would formulate the macro policy, which is going to be binding on the other education departments. It is going to be binding in such a way that whatever they wish to formulate in regard to policy, they will be bound to the directive of the central department. In other words, they are not able to draw up their own policy according to their own principles, rooted in their own culture, for their own education.
When the Cabinet, in 1980, asked for a scientific investigation into the circumstances surrounding the education set-up in South Africa, five specific educational matters were singled out, on which a report had to be made. When I consider those five aspects from the pedagogical point of view, it is clear to me that they were classified in sequence of importance. When we consider this report now, we see that 11 principles with regard to the position of education were set forth. Now, however, the sequence is being reversed. As first principle the programme for the attainment of education of an equal quality for all population groups now applies.
Sir, let me make this very clear: I am an advocate of equal education for all population groups. But in the light of the realities which we have to deal with, the quality of education of the other population groups has not yet come up to the standard of White education and to get it there is going to be a long-term process and will require a great deal of money, if it is taken into consideration that each population group has to build up its own staff structure to be able to ensure that education of an equal standard. This is not something that can be implemented in the short term. We do not have the necessary funds to achieve immediate parity.
My difficulty with the White Paper is that the Government accepted the 11 principles and followed them up with a statement that statutory expression would be given to them in future. It is not stated whether the Government agrees with the order of preference of the 11 principles and where the preferences lie. The principles are simply accepted, and with that the impression is created that the order of preference of those 11 principles is also the order of preference of their importance to the Government. Pedagogically seen and assessed, the most important principles for this population group are numbers four, three and two. Seated over there is the hon member for Virginia, an educationist. Does he differ with me when I say that principles number four, three and two are more important, from a pedagogical point of view, than principle number one for example? [Interjections.]
The fact of the matter is that they must also be accepted, and these three are primarily more important than any of the others. A distinction is drawn between the principles of the provision of education …
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
No. I do not want to allow any questions; my time is very limited and when the other hon members were speaking, I sat listening to them in silence.
In the White Paper the Government presents five basic points of departure. I want to ask the hon member for Virginia and the hon the Minister whether these are mere points of departure? Are four of them not specific, material educational principles, namely those of Christian-national education, of mother tongue education, freedom of choice of the individual and the parents in respect of choice of career and their own schools for every population group, because group specific education departments are essential to do justice to the right of self-determination which Government policy recognizes for each population group in the sphere of education?
In education it is essential for the right of self-determination of each population group that it should have its own education department. The concept of self-determination, closely examined, excludes in the first place that others should decide for you, for then it is domination. It also excludes others deciding for you in conjunction with you, for then it is joint determination and no longer self-determination. For the Government party self-determination has become joint determination, because the overarching, the top structure of this education system, has been integrated and it is only lower down that there is an effort to maintain an appearance of separateness, and it is in that appearance of separateness that the continued maintenance of self-determination is seen. In the new education dispensation the White, Coloured and Indian departments will not be able to formulate their own policy independently.
Before my time expires, I want to say that on the basis of what I have already mentioned, and if I still have time left, on the basis of what I shall still have to say, I cannot support the motion of the hon member for Virginia, and I consequently move the following further amendment to his motion:
- (1) rejects the education policy of the Government as set out in the White Paper on the Provision of Education in the Republic of South Africa, 1983, because White, Coloured and Indian education and the own education departments are thereby made subject to joint education policy and any general law by which each group is deprived of its right of self-determination in the field of education;
- (2) endorses the point of view that the Whites, the Coloured people and the Indians have the right each to determine their own system of education with its own policy, structure and provision; and
- (3) furthermore endorses the point of view that the Black population groups within the Republic of South Africa should have their own education system with its own policy and its own structure, subject to White control.”.
Self-determination in the first place implies rights: The right to formulate your own education policy, based on the principles in which you believe, the right to prepare your own syllabuses and examinations and certificates, the right to make provision for your own staff, namely staff training, selection, registration, control, conditions of service and salaries and the right to have schools, facilities, structures, estimates, legislation and an educational system of your own.
What are the realities, however? They are, as I have already said, that a central overarching department is going to prescribe the policy, that any general law is going to bind the education department in respect of the norm and the standard of financing, in respect of its staff salaries, conditions of service and registration and also in respect of the norms and standards of the syllabuses. And because these three education departments are being combined in the Cabinet into one department, and Black education on the other hand is going to have its own Minister in the Cabinet, it means that education of the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians is in this respect subordinate to the powers which are being conferred upon Black education in South Africa.
Mr Speaker, I think we have seen a very clear demonstration today of the idiom that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is amazing how one and the same document can generate different perspectives depending on one’s own point of view.
Education is the pride and prejudice of every community in South Africa and an assault on the bastions of education is considered to be an assault on the integrity, the rights and the privileges of every community. Naturally we all feel very sensitive about it, because our little egoes, our children, are subject to the educational system and we would always like to see them grow up in our own image, whether that is favourable or unfavourable. Parties such as the PFP, and in particular the hon member for Bryanston, are the products of apartheid. In fact, I think that apartheid has probably made the hon member for Bryanston what he is. He fails to recognize the realities of the requirements of education in a plural society, where the society itself is divided horizontally and vertically. Often the PFP has made a considerable amount of noise about the cost of running separate departments of education such as we will have in the new dispensation. However, the hon member fails to recognize that in terms of PFP policy, they are going to divide South Africa up into 11 states.
Are you defending the Government’s policy?
No, I am discussing your policy now. One thing at a time. We will come to the Government’s policy and also to ours. The hon member fails to tell us that in terms of PFP policy—I would like the hon member for Pinetown to comment on this when he speaks later on—they are going to divide South Africa up into 11 geographic states. How many departments of education will there be for the administering of education under PFP policy? We recognize that they want an integrated educational system, that they want one central Department of Education, but how many administrative departments of education will there be in terms of their policy?
Let me now turn to the members of the CP. Obviously self-determination to them is a fundamental principle, and anything that deviates to the slightest extent from that is unacceptable to them. We contend that this is an unrealistic view of the requirements and needs of South Africa and that there are inconsistencies in their policy which they themselves recognize, but will not talk about. They do recognize the reality of the shop floor, the factory which is multiracial, the business which is multiracial with customers of all colours. That is the economic reality of our society in South Africa. However, they want to take the concept of self-determination to ridiculous ends, which will in fact to be the detriment of all communities in our country. What has to be determined in South Africa is the extent and degree of self-determination which is optimally required by a plural society, so that group rights do not ultimately make individual rights inferior, and, conversely, that individual rights do not in fact detract from group rights. Here a tremendous sense of perspective and balance is required. I believe that the De Lange Committee has highlighted for us in South Africa what type of educational system will ideally serve the needs of the plural society in South Africa.
I now want to refer—for the benefit of the hon member for Groote Schuur and other hon members of the PFP—to where we differ with the Government on their approach to education and their particular interpretation of the De Lange Committee’s recommendations and certain aspects of the White Paper. The hon the Minister will appreciate that with the very limited time at my disposal I can only touch on fundamental and main principles and not on detail. We agree with the Government as well as the De Lange Committee when they say that your first four years of education should be community-orientated. Whether you interpret that as mother tongue education or not, is not of material consequence to us. We recognize the need for community-based education in your mother tongue for your first four years of education. We also recognize the need for the increasing trend to be adopted in South Africa for a school to be community controlled to a greater and greater extent. We also recognize the need that in terms of the new constitutional dispensation that each group will administer its own education department.
However, from that point on we start to differ from the Government. There is a too rigid vertical division in the Government’s policy towards education in South Africa. There are certain points—and that is where tertiary education starts—where we believe the Government has, like the Conservative Party, not recognized the realities of the economic and social structures in South Africa. It is taking vertical differentiation too far.
The hon member for Standerton asked the Conservative Party whether they do not recognize the realities of people working together on the shop floor. He said it, but he does not recognize it. We believe that there should be freedom of association and disassociation at the tertiary level of education. That is what is accepted in the economic realities of our social structure. There is no party in this House who objects to a multiracial production line in a factory. Not one, not even the Conservative Party. There should be an equal right of association and disassociation …
When you talk about an integrated production line, do you mean the commodities such as sugar or mealie-meal?
I am sorry, but the hon member for Langlaagte is not with us in this debate at all. I think he is still looking into those tins he had in the House the other day.
I am referring to the reality that there are people working together on the same shop floor, in laboratories and who work together in the same Government departments of South Africa. That is the reality. We believe that tertiary education should allow people freedom of association and of disassociation, for the very reason that by the time an individual reaches the age of 12 or 13 years, he is totally culturally orientated and now has to integrate and exercise his prerogative as individual in an integrated society outside the class-room. Unless we allow him to prepare himself for that society at an early age, he will not be able to maximize his potential in our plural society.
We believe as the Government does and as was also pointed out by the De Lange Committee, that up to matriculation level education should be community bound. Whether that community decides for itself, by local option, to become integrated, is another matter. The right must, however, be there for the community to have its own education department.
When it comes to the top structure in the new constitution, the hon the Minister says in the White Paper that they recognize that there will be a Minister of general education in the Cabinet and that there will be three Ministers, one in each House, with almost total autonomy over their departments. We believe that the Government should take a different attitude towards a central planning and standards department. My appeal to the hon the Minister is to recognize the realities of education in a plural society and to recognize that the administration of education can be an own affair and that the setting of standards and policies on tertiary education can never fulfil the requirements of a plural society by total vertical segregation. Therefore, I move as a further amendment:
May I just say to the hon the Minister and to the hon member for Virginia that it is totally unrealistic to want to prescribe to educated people, those educated up to matriculation level, how they should conduct themselves in the adult world of South Africa. It is paternalistic; it is unrealistic; it is in fact an affront to every member of our society. If we really believe we want to maximize the individual’s education opportunities in South Africa, we must allow him to start exercising his individual decision-making rights at a very early age. That means after matriculation.
We in the NRP recognize that the quality of life of every citizen in South Africa is directly proportional to the quantity of education the individual has, that the best safeguard for the value system of democracy and of private enterprise is to provide maximum education to every citizen in South Africa. There are many problems to be solved, but, if we are too rigid in our attitude towards vertical segregation, we will in fact be affecting the viability of our society, White, Coloured, Indian and Black. We have to examine very carefully whether we are not overdoing our fundamental approach to vertical segregation.
Mr Speaker, in the first place I should like to associate myself with what the hon member for Durban North said in regard to the clear diversity of standpoints on this White Paper. One should certainly not expect unanimity on such a matter. When all is said and done, education is also an element of society which is rooted—the word has been frequently used this morning—in the structure of society, which in its turn most certainly gives expression to differing ideological standpoints. This also applies to what the hon member for Koedoespoort and the hon member for Bryanston said. One cannot therefore expect unanimity as far as the points of departure on this subject are concerned. It is after all impossible that any White Paper or report on education can reform the community to such an extent that unanimity on this subject can exist. I do not think it is possible in the South Africa in which we live.
I should like to make two observations with reference to points which the hon member for Koedoespoort raised. In the first place he said that the White Paper was contentious. I concede that there are certainly differing standpoints on what is stated in the White Paper. However, I think that what he wishes to base the contentiousness of the White Paper on, does not hold good. I should very much like to refer him to what the official organ of the Transvaal Teachers’ Association, Mondstuk, said with reference to the White Paper in its December edition:
It is after all a positive approach to admit that there are differences but then to make something positive out of that fact and say: “Let us continue the work; there is an arsenal of development possibilities in the work which has been done so far”. However, it has also become typical of the hon member and his party to adopt only a negative attitude. I want to associate myself further with the Mondstuk editorial. I quote:
I should like to say: “Hear, hear!”
There is something else I want to point out to the hon member for Koedoespoort. What is also stated in the Mondstuk editorial? The hon member should read it. It is stated:
With reference to what the hon member said about the general policy, I find it difficult to understand what he actually wanted to say. It is not true that everything on the general level is going to be taken over, and that this, as he sees it, will lead to the complete swamping of separate departmental executive interests. Surely it is very clear that the formulation of standards and norms, for example in respect of financing, in respect of salaries for teaching staff, in respect of curriculum requirements and in respect of the certification of qualifications, are matters which cannot possibly be left to the norms and standards of each group. Surely the hon member must agree with that. When all is said and done, it is the case today that equal salaries are already being paid to teaching staff for equal qualifications. This applies to all the groups. Today a Joint Matriculation Board already exists, which is representative of all the population groups, and which lays down standards for university entrance. Consequently his argument does not hold water at all. In the long run the implementation of that policy rests with the individual education departments of each of the population groups. [Interjections.]
Before I leave the hon member and go on to my next point, I want to react briefly to his question of whether there was any question of principles or points of departure in the White Paper. I want to point out to him that the Government had already spoken about guiding principles in the original interim memorandum—the blue booklet, of which the hon member is aware. In that blue booklet it was stated:
These were repeated in the final White Paper. May I refer the hon member to the other 11 points. He argued about which were supposedly the most important. According to the hon member points 4, 3 and 2 were the most important, but the Government is of the opinion that all 11 points should be read and understood in conjunction with one another. As a former theologian the hon member would probably concede that in the case of the Ten Commandments we do not distinguish which Commandment is the most important.
Surely these are not the Ten Commandments.
Does the hon member feel that we should place our principles before another? I do not think that is necessary. It is in fact specified that we should read them in conjunction with one another.
In the time remaining to me, I want to deal briefly with the question of why, seen from an economic point of view, we do in fact need a new dispensation for education in this country. I am doing so in support of the motion of the hon member for Virginia.
In the first place—all of us know this and it is therefore not necessary to elaborate on the point—we know that South Africa has a need for trained manpower. There is no difference of opinion on that score. We also know that, on a skilled level, the modern sector in particular, or rather the First World economy of our country, is borne primarily by the Whites. We also know that there is a tremendous shortage of sufficient skilled labour and that we are indeed going to find ourselves in a predicament, if we have not already done so, in the sense that we do not have enough people to fill the managerial posts in the country today.
By way of example I want to point out that if approximately 10% of the economically active sector of the White population were to fall into the managerial cadre it would mean roughly 230 000 to 250 000 people out of a total population of 25 million. This is an impossible burden to bear and compels one to say that there will have to be a supplementation and also better utilization of our education if we wish to meet that need.
To maintain a growth rate of 4,5% in our gross domestic product we need approximately 23 000 additional skilled workers per annum. At present the influx is in the region of 10 000 per annum. Consequently we cannot continue in this manner and expect South Africa, on the one hand, to remain the economic power which it is at present, and, on the other, be able to continue to meet the urgent needs of the country in future.
Additionally we have among the Whites the noticeable phenomenon, which is becoming increasingly prominent, that the existing provision of education is not being properly utilized or, on the other hand there is, as far as the Whites are concerned, a deficiency in the existing provision of education in this sense that not all talents are being properly utilized. One could quote many figures in this connection, but I want to point out in particular that a high percentage of school leavers, and particularly male national servicemen after they leave the Defence Force, do not possess sufficient matriculation or other professional qualifications to enable them to occupy positions. I want to express my concern at this specific aspect because I believe that we shall have to pay attention to it in future. We shall have to establish whether there is a lack of motivation among the Whites, whether it is due to a lack of discipline, dedication and purposefulness, or whether it is due to factors such as instability in family life, and so on. In my opinion this is a vitally important aspect which we shall have to consider to make certain that our views, among the Whites as well, on the utilization of education are correctly geared to ensuring optimum application. We cannot argue away the fact that we compare poorly with comparable developing countries.
I should like to emphasize the second part of the motion before this House. We have the situation today that no single group, and not the Whites either, can say with certainty that the present educational opportunities in South Africa are adequate. I have quite a lot of figures to support this point, but I do not have the time now to quote them all. The point I want to make is simply that we need a new education system and that the White Paper offers a solution to this problem, although it is not final.
The hon member for Bryanson kicked up a great fuss about what he termed the political elements in the White Paper. But three-quarters of the White Paper and the report is after all concerned with far more than the structuring of education.
If that hon member had only taken the trouble to concentrate—and I believe that he did study the White Paper—on those matters on which we could agree, that is to say on better opportunities for education in South Africa, it would have been in the best interests of everyone, and also in the best interests of our children, and that is of the utmost importance. By arguing only about those aspects in the White Paper on which we differ, we are not going to change the general structure of society in South Africa one iota.
It is useless to argue about things on which we agree.
It seems to me as though the hon member does not agree with that, because that is not the angle from which he approached this matter this morning.
Sir, I should like to support the motion of the hon member for Virginia.
Mr Speaker, I have listened to the debate in the House so far this morning, and it has really dragged me back to the 19th century. I submit that we are in a position in which we are talking about education for the whole of South Africa. The HSRC inquiry covered all education, and there are many people who are avoiding that.
The hon member for Virginia provided a very interesting start for the debate by successfully, I believe, avoiding the key element in his motion, which is “That this House … wholeheartedly endorses … the decisions of the Government” as carried in the White Paper. It is those decisions which, I believe, we have to look at, and look at very closely. The hon member for Virginia said that the key elements of the education policy:
I just want to ask, Mr Speaker, what is a nation? [Interjections,] Are we talking about the White life and world perspective, because if we are then I contend that no such animal exists. No such animal exists, and I should seriously question how one could base an education structure on a life and world perspective that does not exist. If we were talking—if the hon member was talking—about the life and world perspective of the Afrikaans-speaking section of the community, then he may have a point. Why then is there not a ministry of education for Afrikaans-speaking Whites? Why is there not then going to be a ministry of education for Moslems?
Good question, is it not?
Mr Speaker, I believe that that should seriously be re-examined.
I was also very interested to hear the hon member for Virginia go through the list of things that will be considered under general laws. He did not, however, carry on with the list. He was speaking at that stage to the CP, and possibly he did not want to mention this one that would be dealt with as a general affair, and I quote from the White Paper:
Now, Mr Speaker, I am not questioning that. I think it is a very good principle. We must, however, make it quite clear to the whole of South Africa that that is what his party and his Government are standing for. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Virginia then added that the golden thread that runs through this White Paper is that of division into own and general affairs, and then he outlined the five ministries we are going to have—White, Coloured, Indian, Black and general. I merely want to ask the following question. There is going to be a Minister of Black education. He can be White, Coloured or even Indian. He cannot, however, be Black. Where now is the own affair? [Interjections.]
Then, the most cynical thing of all, was to hear the hon member for Virginia quote Franklin Sonn and Pat Samuels in support of the White Paper. Mr Speaker, Franklin Sonn said it was the Government that had tom the guts out of the De Lange report. Why did the hon member not mention that? Why did he not quote what Pat Samuels actually said about the White Paper?
What he said is very clear. He is the leader of the Teachers’ Association of South Africa. I quote him, as follows:
The hon member for Durban North asked me a question regarding the federal states. It seems quite clear to me that he has not examined the policy of the PFP, that he does not understand the principles of centralization and decentralization, and that the concept of one ministry and decentralized departments is not clear to him at all. The thread which the hon member for Durban North was prepared to emphasize was that the NP was emphasizing too rigid vertical segregation. That means that the hon member for Durban North indeed accepts vertical segregation. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Johannesburg West quoted from Mondstuk. He quoted from it at length and referred to the recognition of the differences, adding that we should work forward. I would agree with that. We do need to work forward.
Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.
Mr Speaker, what is the role of an education structure? It is to ensure that the following ends are realized: Firstly, adequacy of provision, that is, to meet user demands for adequate and equal access to education for all; secondly, functional effectiveness, to provide courses to meet social, economic and cultural needs; thirdly, operational efficiency, that is, to maximize effective resource utilization; and fourthly, public acceptability, to ensure the widest possible satisfaction by harmonizing user aspirations with society’s needs. Judged against these criteria, how do the Government’s five ministries fare? The users are not and will not be satisfied that they receive equal access to education. Duplication of ministries must inevitably lead to socially undesirable discrepancies existing between ministries. It obstructs the unitary planning in education required to meet the manpower needs of a unitary economy. It also blocks the development of programmes of cross-cultural contact. It continues to emphasize the duplication of educational facilities, particularly in terms of capital equipment and personnel. Lastly, and most important of all, it has little or no public acceptability.
Mr Speaker, the “Volkskongres” can vote 84% against one Ministry but the greater majority of South Africans want one ministry. Of the 21 teacher organizations I mentioned yesterday, only six do not call for one ministry. This multiple control system is seen by many South Africans as an insidious instrument of discrimination designed to perpetuate educational inequality.
Now, what has the HSRC Committee recommended? It has recommended a single ministry of education. What has the working party recommended? It recommends:
Who said these things, Sir? It was not the PFP but the working party that consisted of all the directors of the provincial education departments and other directors, the head of the Broederbond, three university professors and Black and White representatives of teachers’ associations. Now the Government repudiates them. Why, Sir? For ideological reasons only. Why? Let Prof Carel Boshoff in 1982, on the day before “Skilpaddag”, 20 March, at the “Volkskongres” tell us. The report on his statement reads:
Let us compare this, Sir, with the following that was said by another professor:
Who was this professor? It was the present hon Minister of National Education speaking in June 1976. [Interjections.] What do his appointed educational experts call for? What did they devise to follow the aims and principles set out here? They called for one ministry. The total rejection by over 80% of South African teachers from all population groups of the major aspects of the Government White Paper is a clear demonstration of their rejection of apartheid education. It is too late now to go back, but one wishes that the interim memorandum had never been issued. It came in October 1981, at a time of stresses and strains in the NP, desperately holding on to the right wing. Was it a sop for them? For many of us it represented a total negation of all that had been worked for during the 13 months of the HSRC inquiry.
How did the HSRC inquiry work? It worked by consensus, using the overworked word the NP say they champion. Twenty-three people from diverse backgrounds sat and argued and talked and moved to compromise. The political bargaining process was hard but no person said that he was not going to consult or negotiate or that this or that was a non-negotiable. From that consensus came the HSRC Main Report. Its major philosophic base was that the education system of this country had to be “user acceptable”, acceptable to pupil, acceptable to parent, employer en trade union. If ever there was an opportunity for the NP to prove that they put South Africa’s interest before that of their own party, this was the opportunity, but they duffed it.
It took the education crises of 1976 and 1980 to lead to the creation of the HSRC inquiry. What will have to happen for the Government finally to scrap apartheid education?
Against that background there are several other matters that are not at all acceptable to this side of the House. Firstly the PFP rejects the recommendations regarding the establishment of separate professional councils for teachers. With the exception of five White predominantly Afrikaans-speaking teacher groups, there is no support for separate racial councils amongst South African teachers. Why make this proposal without carefully ascertaining whether it is acceptable to the 82% of South African teachers who are not satisfied with apartheid education?
What did the hon member for Virginia mean when he said on 10 February this year (Hansard, col 751):
Where are the Black teachers? Are they not going to be registered? Further inquiries I have made lead me to believe that 40 000 Black teachers in the common area of South Africa and 44 000 Black teachers in the nondependent areas are to be excluded from registration. Has the hon the Minister of Education and Training reached consensus with Mr Peteni and the African Teachers’ Association regarding this, or is this a further case of the NP telling the teachers what to do?
We reject the Government’s insistence on the application of the Group Areas Act and the refusal to waive it, particularly where unutilized schools are concerned. We believe very strongly—remember all the provincial directors agreed to this—that the schools which are at present empty should be utilized.
I believe very strongly that the House can and should only support the amendment of the hon member for Bryanston.
Mr Speaker, I listened with particular interest to this debate on an extremely important policy document, a policy document which, as various speakers rightly indicated, is going to have a decisive influence on the quality and the course of education in this country in the future. I should like to thank the hon member for Virginia for his initiative in bringing this topical matter to the attention of this House and for the expert and brief, well-chosen comprehensiveness with which he dealt with the subject and the balanced way in which he pointed to the problems. In particular, I appreciate his emphasizing the fact that the purposeful focusing on the achievement of the goal of equitable and equal education opportunities for all the inhabitants of South Africa, as clearly spelt out in various points in the White Paper, will not take place at the expense of existing educational standards, of educational levels that have already been attained. It is a question of upgrading educational systems to equal status, and not of bringing them down to equality at a lower level. I am extremely grateful that the hon member emphasized this point.
I also want to express my appreciation for the support the hon member for Standerton gave him and, in particular, for the somewhat embarrassing quotation he read to the Progs concerning what the PFP member of the Johannesburg City Council, Molly Kopel, had to say with regard to the extremely important cultural component which is not only being experienced in the theory of education, but also at the workshop level in the industrial heartland of South Africa on the Witwatersrand with people who, in her opinion, achieved equally in their theoretical training, but who are suffering certain restraints as a result of their cultural background. I also want to express my gratitude to the hon member for Johannesburg West, in particular for the effective way in which he exposed the spurious arguments and slanted representation of the White Paper the hon member for Koedoespoort was guilty of.
What the hon member for Koedoespoort did—and I want to emphasize this—illustrates the way in which all the facts and the whole truth are not used in an argument and presented to this House. The hon member tried to attack the Government because it has accepted the various principles—principles one to eleven—for the provision of education in the De Lange Report, and because the Government disturbed the order of importance of the contents of the various principles. However—with reference to what the hon member for Johannesburg West said, I want to emphasize this once again—he neglected to mention what is clearly stated by the Government before those principles, on page 3 of the White Paper. These words put the whole matter in perspective. This is how he misleads the House and creates the wrong impression. He claims that the worth of those principles should be evaluated strictly in numerical order. The following words appear just before the principles on page 3:
Essentially, this places in perspective how the matter should be understood. The hon member put it in such a way as to obscure the political debate, instead of clarifying it. Some of his other arguments were raised in the same manner. I shall come back to what the hon member said at a later stage.
As regards the hon member for Durban North, I do not want to deal at this stage with one of his objections regarding the admission of students to tertiary education, since I think this matter was debated ad nauseam in the House last year. Another of his objections, that the central education department is not being granted sufficient authority, does not hold water either, as I shall indicate later. With regard to the specific, defined, general aspects of education, for which the Minister of general education affairs will be responsible, the policy laid down by legislation or by executive action will be binding on all departments. In other words, in respect of that particular aspect the central Ministry has a clear guiding and controlling function as regards the other departments. It is a defined and restricted responsibility, however, only in respect of the particular spheres which are clearly defined in the constitution. It was a misrepresentation on the part of the hon member for Koedoespoort to make the inference that supposedly the individual education departments no longer have the power to determine their own policy. As a matter of fact, the Government stated very clearly in the White Paper that in respect of matters such as the philosophical premise on education contained in the National Education Policy for Whites Act, and since they are based on Christian national principles, those principles will remain. This applies to the population group concerned. The principle of mother-tongue is also stated clearly and will remain. In other words, it is very clear to someone who reads the White Paper objectively that except for the three general affairs aspects—norms with regard to financing, conditions of service, the fixing of salaries, professional registration, as well as examinations—all other matters, those pertaining to philosophy in particular, are the responsibility of each population group’s own bodies controlling education.
In the paragraph in the White Paper dealing with curriculum determination, the Government makes it clear that the guidelines laid down by the central certification body, and which will be authoritative, will not interfere with the right of any population group to develop and extend the curricula in its own education department and its own educational institutions in accordance with the philosophical traditions and cultural values of the community concerned. This is expressly stated in the White Paper.
I shall come back to the remarks of the hon member for Bryanston at a later stage, when I shall deal more specifically with the general standpoint of his party. However, for the moment I just want to say that when he claims that there was an improper delay in dealing with the De Lange Report and the working party’s recommendations, I want to make it clear that the only possible delay the Government can be accused of was during the course of last year. During the course of last year the Government and this House were in the process of formulating and drawing up a new constitution. It was clear that if the Government wanted to be responsible, a final and meaningful White Paper which also contained education management aspects could not be completed before the constitutional pattern was clear, before it had been properly considered by this House and the final education management system could be formulated and worked out on that basis. It would simply have been irresponsible of this Government to bring out a White Paper before the constitution had been finalized and then make a number of far-reaching recommendations all of a sudden after the constitution had been finalized in order to fit in with the constitution. No sensible Government goes about its work in that way.
I listened with particular interest to the new prospective official Opposition spokesman on education, viz the hon member for Pinetown. If, as I suspect, the hon member for Bryanston is going to find it necessary to follow the example of the hon member for Sandton in the near future and lets the hon the Leader of the Opposition reconsider his portfolio, we shall be interested to see whether the political clowning he subjects us to in debates on education, will be replaced with the somewhat more expert contribution by the hon member for Pinetown—even though it is loaded with a great deal of self-assurance.
However, the hon member for Pinetown is not such a good little boy. He is like a naughty child. He was the executive officer of one of the important professional teachers’ societies, viz the Natal Teacher’s Society. I have with me the November edition of Mentor, that society’s magazine, which was published under his supervision. This edition was published three weeks before the White Paper. On the cover of this edition there is a drawing of South Africa with the De Lange report—White Paper—and a fire that had been set alight in Soweto, the words Ngoya, 1976, and Fort Hare, and the date on which the White Paper was released, viz 23 November, is burning in that fire. There is a fist coming out of the smoke of that fire and on it is written the word—Amandla! This is the message that was blazoned abroad under the leadership of the hon member for Pine-town by an official recognized teachers’ society on the front page of their official publication three weeks before the release of the White Paper. They said in advance that the White Paper was going to appear and that there was only one thing one could do with it: Burn it and raise a clenched first. [Interjections.] If that is the standpoint…
Mr Speaker, will the hon the Minister take a question?
No, Sir, I am speaking to him now. My question is: Is he familiar with that publication? Was he still in service when that magazine was published? Where did he get the prophetic vision, three weeks before the time, to …
Take his question!
I am putting the question now. He put questions to me a moment ago. Now I am putting my questions to him. [Interjections.]
In association with hon members—at least this is one matter everyone has agreed on—I should like to pay tribute to everyone who contributed, under the leadership of Prof De Lange, both in the executive committee of the HSRC, as well as in the education working party, to this mammoth task and the tremendous amount of reflection which served as a basis for this new policy contained in the White Paper. I want to tell this House that the Government has already decided to submit the first legislation towards implementing some of the fundamental aspects of the White Paper to this House during the present session. It will be legislation in which the 11 main principles will find official statutory expression; in which the ministry responsible for general education affairs will be granted the authority to deal with matters defined in the constitution as general aspects of education; in which provision will also be made for the establishment of a South African Council for Education which will be representative of all the interested parties in education of all the population groups, as envisaged by the White Paper; and, fourthly, in which provision will be made for the establishment of a statutory committee of heads of education departments of all executive education departments so that there will be better co-ordination, co-operation and planning between the various education departments on a structured and continuous basis. This, in conjunction with others, is an indication of the high priority education and the teaching profession occupy in the economy, for which the Government is responsible.
Whilst one was listening to the debate, one had no choice but to listen with discontent and with somewhat of a headache to the same old nagging tune of the PFP and the Conservative Party. The PFP’s ideologically obsessive criticism of the White Paper is only concerned with one aspect, and it has little or nothing to do with true educational matters. It has everything to do with their party-political ideology, however. That party links the interests of education, and, consequently, of our youth, who are absolutely dependent on efficient education for their future, to the party-political dogmatism and tunneled thinking of that party. The one aspect everything revolves around for the PFP when they discuss education they are unable to discuss any other aspect of education—is that the sole solution, the cure-all, the panacea, for all education problems is to be found in a single matter with two sides. One of these is their insistence that there should be a single education department with a single gigantic central administration for education, and the other is their insistence that, in principle, all schools should be integrated or mixed.
Let us make this very clear once again: Even if this ideological obsession of the PFP were to be complied with, it would mean no improvement whatsoever in the fundamental and true value of education in this country, apart from the fact that complying with their ideological obsession would cause violent reaction, disruption and stagnation in education circles. The true needs in education, in view of the social challenges to which the hon member for Bryanston referred as well, the true needs in education which have to be complied with at the education management level, are firstly, more education facilities, and not mixed education facilities, more schools, and not mixed schools, more classrooms, and not mixed classrooms, more and better libraries and laboratories and more sports facilities for all the inhabitants of the country. All these facilities must also be situated close to where the people live, and not in the exclusive liberal residential areas miles away where the supporters of the official Opposition would like to have these people as a kind of tokenism. That the Government is in earnest about this matter concerning more and better facilities, in contrast with mere mixed facilities, which would offer no solution, is apparent from the increasing,—in the case of Black education in particular—drastically increasing, budgets for educational services for these population groups. This is also apparent from the fact that during the present financial year a particularly satisfactory situation has been achieved in that in total more was spent on education than on the defence of our country. In view of the situation our country has found itself in, and still finds itself in, this is an extremely important indication of the high priority more and better education facilities for everyone in this country occupy, in the Government’s opinion.
I should like to expose the story that making unused White schools available to other population groups would be a solution. Unused White schools within reasonable reach of Coloured or Black communities is highly exceptional and this would make no real contribution to solving the shortage of services.
Another fundamental need is more and better-trained teachers. The appeal that a few places in White education colleges should be opened to non-Whites, will have no real effect on the problem. The need is so great that additional, and obviously their own, facilities for the various population groups who are lagging behind will have to be provided. As was stated in the White Paper, to provide more and better-trained teachers means, that new norms for the standard of teacher training have already been accepted and are being implemented. This applies to all population groups. Considerable sums of money are being spent on programmes for in-service training and the upgrading of the qualifications of existing teachers. The new Vista University has begun presenting a particularly comprehensive and successful series of programmes through which teachers in service can improve their post-school qualifications by way of part-time studies.
In addition, there is a real need for the co-ordination of standards, viz examination standards, standards of certificates, standards on which conditions of service are based, and standards for the financing of facilities. The real need is for equal opportunities, as accepted and spelt out by the White Paper. Another real need is for a say by representatives of all population groups, in which co-responsibility is accepted for the common or general interest aspect in education, as spelt out in full in the White Paper. Furthermore, there is also the real need for the Coloured and Asian population groups to have self-determination over their own existing education systems, instead of them continuing to fall under White control, as is the case at present. These are the concrete and essential matters that will make a material contribution to improving education opportunities for everyone in this country. There must be no demonstrative or symbolic opening of specific facilities, but a real, substantial expansion of their own facilities for the various communities.
On the other hand, hon members of the CP are still afraid that all co-responsibility for common education standards and all effective co-ordination between the various separate education systems will inevitably form what they call the slippery course to the destruction of White self-determination. This is such a simplistic view that one almost wonders whether it is necessary to refute it. This view denies the fact that there are also common elements present in education, which, in its entirety, is really an own affair in essence. It is those common elements that are clearly spelt out in the constitution. They are there. We cannot ignore them.
Secondly, the standpoint of the CP evades the responsibility we have towards everyone, but particularly towards the White child, the White teacher and the White parent, that there should be a guarantee of equal standards, that as regards certificates and examinations in this country we cannot get away with easier alternative examinations, but that all examination standards and all certificates should be measured by the same gold standard, for which binding minimum requirements which will apply to all population groups, will of necessity have to be laid down, and for which structures for co-responsibility and joint decision-making will necessarily have to be set up, as envisaged in the new statutory certification body we want to establish. We must accept that it is also in the interest of the White child, the White parent and the White teacher that the norms and standards in terms of which people are appointed and professionally registered—I point out to the hon member for Pinetown that the intention is that this will apply to teachers of all population groups—and in terms of which they will receive their salaries, must, in all fairness, be the same so that some people with lower standards will no be able to get the same appointment, registration or salary as those that people with higher standards receive. Not only do we owe that to everyone in this country, but also to our own population group, and I consequently find it strange that time and again hon members of the CP are unable to see that we are compelled by the reality of the situation and to do something about it in our own interests.
These two nagging themes are brought to the fore time and again by the official Opposition and the CP when education matters are discussed here. However, I now want to come back to a few main characteristics of the Government’s policy as set out in the White Paper. As hon members have already said, there are so many subjects in the White Paper, that one has difficulty in doing justice to them all in a short debate such as this. However, I think that the three main characteristics in the White Paper can be summed up as follows: Firstly, the acceptance of the principle that equal education opportunities, including equal education standards for all the inhabitants of this country, are being purposefully striven for by the State. The second one is the continuation—not a new creation—of the existing and proven differentiated education systems according to population groups in this country. Thirdly, and this is the fundamental innovation—despite all the complaints from the PFP—which elaborates on the proposals of the De Lange report, that there should be a new central ministry and department responsible for the general or common aspects of education, as clearly defined in the schedule to the constitution and as was clearly and unequivocally accepted by our voters. Our voters accepted this despite the foreboding and misrepresentations by hon members of the CP concerning this matter.
Regarding the purposeful striving for the first goal, viz equal education opportunities and standards, I want to point out to hon members that the Government made it clear in the White Paper that this must be done with realism, and one must firstly take into account the country’s financial capabilities, and consequently also the country’s financial limitations. However, I remind you once again of what I said earlier concerning the degree to which recent educational budgets have shown a phenomenal growth, which is proof of the Government’s earnestness about this matter. However, it is not only the country’s financial capabilities that have to be taken into account. There are other important priorities competing, but they also serve as essential supports to education, for example, housing. Education cannot progress without an improvement in our housing situation. [Interjections.] Nor can health be seen as being unrelated to education. Social and economic development, and, in particular, decentralized economic development to promote the creation of employment opportunities and security and everything connected with it are priorities that are not only important in themselves, but are essential foundations for proper progress in education.
I now want to single out the second important aspect emphasized in the White Paper, and point out that the existing differentiation of education systems according to population groups is to be continued, as determined by the referendum which confirmed education at all levels as being an own affair of every population group.
Mr Speaker, I should like to come back to the spurious argument and the caricature of this presented by hon members of the official Opposition in particular. I want to state unequivocally that there is no question of a proliferation of new education ministries. It is the maintenance of an existing and proven system, of a national department responsible for White education—the Department of National Education—and departments of Coloured education, and Asian education, as well as education for Blacks outside the national states. In addition, each self-governing national state is responsible for its own education in terms of its autonomy. We are not creating a number of new ministries all of a sudden. It is a system that was established gradually—built up and developed with expertise from various sources—and with considerable success over the years.
What is important, however, is that instead of the White Parliament continuing its ultimate control over Coloured education and Asian education, in terms of the new constitution, self-determination for each of these population groups is being established by way of their own House, in which they can pass legislation, as well as by way of their own Ministers’ Council, which will have executive authority, as far as those education departments meant for each of those individual population groups are concerned. What is happening here, therefore, is a process of emancipation to their own political decision-making. Consequently, it is a misrepresentation to say that all of a sudden a lot of new education bureaucracies are going to be created.
This is a situation that was built up gradually over a period of time, which is now being confirmed. I also want to ask whether the self-governing national states must now suddenly be denied the right to make their own decisions concerning their own education.
The third important aspect I mentioned concerning the White Paper, is the important innovation concerning education management. This is the only new ministry that is relevant. It is a new central ministry for general affairs, which is responsible for those three common education aspects I mentioned earlier in my speech, and which is set out so clearly in the constitution.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 34 and motion and amendments lapsed.
Mr Speaker, I move:
At the outset allow me to state that I am delighted to be given the opportunity this afternoon of introducing and leading a debate on this motion. I also want to add that, I personally, in my remarks, should like to avoid becoming embroiled in an idea logical or a political argument. I hope my remarks can be of a moderate nature, and can at the same time be convincing enough to keep the interest of the hon the Minister, and hopefully his goodwill too. I hope that all hon members approach this particular motion in a positive spirit.
Let us look at the background. The Old United Party was disbanded in 1977, and the NRP was formed in the same year. Many people still regard with great humour the fact that we came into being on an ice rink in Johannesburg. Be that as it may, however, at that time we introduced certain new thoughts and new ways of thinking into our policies; new aims and principles, which we have placed fairly and squarely before the electorate in the years that followed.
In 1978 we came to this House for the first session, I think it was of the sixth Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. The opening of central business districts has always been a hobbyhorse of mine, and in that I was actively supported by the then hon member for Durban Central, Mr Andrew Pyper, and also by people like Prof Dan Kriek of the constitutional committee of the NRP.
This thought became firmly entrenched in our principles, and it was my privilege and pleasure, on 27 April 1978, first to enunciate it here in this House, during the discussion of the Indian Affairs Vote. Inter alia, at column 5725, I said the following—I trust that hon members will bear with me if I quote myself because what I said then applies today:
The Minister in charge at that time was Mr Marais Steyn who responded to me briefly but in an encouraging fashion when he said at column 5757 in referring to my speech:
However, I fear that he did not have much more to say on the subject than that.
We raised this matter again the following year, in 1979, once again during the discussion of the Indian Affairs Vote, and on that occasion in the Senate Chamber. In that year I was supported by the then member for Musgrave, now the hon member for Berea, the member for Umbilo then who is now the chairman of the Natal Provincial Council and by the member for Bezuidenhout at that time who is now an active member of the President’s Council. He realized where his future lay. Once again, I received a guarded response from the hon the Minister. He stated, inter alia, that the Riekert Commission had made certain recommendations in regard to CBDs. He stressed the fact that certain areas would have to be “afgeba-ken”. He said:
What he said had emanated from the Riekert Commission. He went on to say:
Yes, Sir, in those days there were indeed problems but I believe that those problems have been solved.
I often wonder how that hon Minister feels today having spent the past five years in London where he has certainly lived in an open central business district.
Although the Minister’s reaction was somewhat guarded, reaction from other quarters was quite startling and was supportive, to say the least of it. I got an immediate reaction from the Johannesburg CBD Association and ever since then Mr Nigel Mandy has kept me constantly posted on the affairs of that association. The Durban Chamber of Commerce which, I wish to remind hon members, is the largest chamber in South Africa—it has the largest membership by far of any chamber of commerce in South Africa—has actively supported this concept. However, since that time, I personally have constantly canvassed opinion and I feel that now more than ever the time is ripe to place this motion before this House. I also feel that at this particular moment in our political history we should be seen to be taking meaningful steps of this nature. Should we venture to take these steps, I think that they will be welcomed by all because it goes without saying that this is the sort of positive step that we can take that can earn nothing but praise from our critics both here and abroad.
Let us examine this motion. In examining the motion, I want to emphasize two points. I want to emphasize that I have used the word “defined” and the word “trading”. I have said that we want to open all defined central business districts, and I have specifically said for trading. Those two words “defined” and “trading” are the key words in my motion. I want all parties in the House to understand that very clearly. We are not concerning ourselves here with residential rights, and I ask hon members please to confine their observations and to confine this debate to views on trading rights.
Do you have a problem with residential rights?
That is the typical sort of comment that one gets. Here is a motion before the House and I am making a sincere appeal to the House to confine itself to trading rights. Let us not get sidetracked; we can talk about residential rights at some other time, but here let us talk about trading rights.
If the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North wants to ask a question, he should ask it when I am not speaking and when I pause. Does he want to ask a question?
You must remember the traditions of the House.
That little friend of mine does have much to learn.
Defined central business districts I believe are those areas which are defined as such by the local authority. I believe it is the right of every local authority to define its own central business district. Let us face the fact that there may be local authorities in South Africa that may not choose to define a central business district. Let us face the fact that there may be some towns or villages or small places, perhaps in the far north of our country, that may say that they do not want any part of this, they do not want a central business district, they do not want anything to do with the opening of a business area. It should be their right. Maybe they would do this for political reasons. Of course, I say this somewhat facetiously because obviously that is the only reason why they should not want to do it; a purely political reason. Hopefully in time change will reach them as well. I stress that the decision must rest with the local authority because this is in complete accord with the principle of devolution of power and decision making to that level.
I do not believe that metropolitan areas should be allowed to say that they cannot have a central business district. Metropolitan areas, the great cities in our country, like Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Pietermaritzburg …
Springbok, I ask you!
The great cities in our country cannot be allowed to say that they do not have central business districts. Their responsibility is to define the boundaries of their central business districts. That is their responsibility.
Let us look at Durban, for instance. I cannot see that the city fathers of Durban, or city mothers of Durban—I think that is more appropriate these days—can have any difficulty whatsoever in defining the central business district of that city, and possibly in doing so they should even include an area like Grey Street because the results would be obvious: Fronts would be legitimized. We all know that there are possibly more fronts operated in the central business district of Durban than what there are legitimate businesses in terms of the present legislation.
In Lichtenburg as well.
Does the hon member have information about Lichtenburg?
By no stretch of the imagination could, let us say, the beach front be included in the CBD. Some people may say that the beach front is a business district; yes, it has hotels, but it is mainly a residential area.
The question then arises: What about suburbia? What about the Glenwoods, the Musgraves, the Claremonts in Cape Town, the Rosebanks in Johannesburg? What about places like those? What do we do about those?
What about Umhlanga?
Umhlanga is a borough in its own right.
I believe that the decision should rest with the local population. The relevant city council would be unwise were it not to canvass opinions before making decisions about suburban business areas. It is the local council’s decision to make, but the council would be unwise to make a decision without canvassing opinions sufficiently. Having said that, I want to emphasize that what we are advocating is a start to new things. I know that there are those who are going to say that we are going too far, and to those I want to say that they are being unrealistic. I know that there are those, and I think I have heard mutterings from their benches already, who are going to say that we are not going far enough, and to them I say that they are being impractical. To the unrealistic I say that we would be legitimizing and normalizing what is an already existing situation. As the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North said, by way of interjection, even Lichtenburg has fronts. All we are going to do is that we are going to normalize and legitimize something that is happening in practically every town throughout our country. To the impractical I say that I do not think that our society is ready for the opening of everything. We all know that. We debate this backwards and forwards in this House time and time again. Let us face the facts.
We do not agree with that.
I appreciate that. We say that there are too many Whites who would not tolerate that situation, and equally, we say that there are too many Blacks who would suffer too much because of it. As a person who, I think, supports me in this view, I would like to quote none other than Mr Gavin Relly, Chairman of Anglo American, who said the following in an article on 10 November 1983 on the opening of central business districts:
If we are going to open central business districts we have to open them to all. If, as some would have, we open all business districts they must be consistent and open all districts. They must open the trading areas in Kwa Mashu, in Guguletu, in Soweto, in Phoenix, etc. Do not just say that all trading areas in the White areas should be opened. Then you must open them all. That is why I say you are then being impractical, because the sufferer is then going to be the Black man.
It is true to say that in every free enterprise system all people, irrespective of race, creed and religion, can and in fact do trade with each other. Our so-called White business districts rely on customers of all races and they employ assistants of all races, but they exclude proprietors of other races. I make an urgent appeal this afternoon to the Government to give serious consideration to this motion, to give serious consideration to the acceptance of the principle contained in this motion. If it can find acceptance in its heart for a part or the whole of the motion, we will have moved a long way here today. I personally will take great satisfaction in it because it is something which is very near and dear to my heart and it is something which I sincerely believe can only be to the ultimate good of the Republic of South Africa. It was Martin Luther King who had a dream, but I have a hope. Hope is a wonderful thing, and having a hope I would like to quote the words of one Charles Sawyer, who said:
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to the hon member for Umhlanga for having moved this motion in the House today. It is a good motion and I believe it deserves support and serious consideration by this Government. However, in saying that, I do believe there are some omissions in this motion. I intend to restrict myself to purely business rights rather than residential rights.
The omissions in this motion are caused by the fact that the words “defined” and “trading” mentioned by the hon member are in the motion. I would like to draw the hon member’s attention to the fact that he mentions only trading and not ownership or leasing of property; in other words, freehold rights or leasing. Would the hon member agree that it would be a good thing if the people who were allowed to trade there, would also be able to own or lease property there?
Yes, of course.
Fine, he would then agree with an amendment which went along those lines.
In the second place the hon member is careful to specify only “defined central business districts”. He mentioned the suburban shopping areas and we all know that business is tending to move out into the suburbs of South Africa. As he mentioned, there is Rosebank in Johannesburg, Cavendish in Cape Town and Greenacres in Port Elizabeth. They are not in the central business districts. Does the hon member think it fair that we should deny other groups the right to trade anywhere that trading takes place?
That is up to the local authorities to decide.
All right, I heard the hon member, but what is his personal opinion? I want to refer to Durban North. Would he agree that an Indian trader should be allowed to own and to trade from a shop in the suburban shopping area in Durban North?
Yes, if a White trader is allowed to own and to operate a shop in Kwa Mashu.
Fine. He therefore agrees …
Yes, if a White trader is allowed to operate in Kwa Mashu he believes an Indian trader should be allowed to operate in Durban North. I am glad to have his assurance on these points. We believe that they should be able to have them.
I therefore move as an amendment:
It is quite obvious that we in these benches believe that the Group Areas Act should disappear altogether. We do not believe in forced separation.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
No, not at the moment. I only have 10 minutes to speak on this motion. However, for the purpose of this debate, as I have said, we are sticking to the business aspects of life.
Can you tell me whether that includes Ulundi?
I will get to that. The hon member must just be patient. Our amendment would mean that the ownership of hotels, restaurants and cinemas should be opened to all race groups. It would thus follow that cinemas, restaurants and hotels should be opened to all races. That should not be on a permit basis or a special basis as with restaurants, but they should be opened to all races without any permit. What we are in effect saying is: Let us get Government-imposed racism altogether out of commerce and industry in South Africa.
To get to the point made by the hon member for Durban North, I am well aware that there could be objections to the Black and Coloured business areas being opened to ownership and trading activities by Whites. It is argued that those who have been underprivileged for so long need time to catch up, and I have every sympathy with that viewpoint. I regret, however, that I cannot think that it is a correct one. The free enterprise system has many advantages. One of them is that competition, open and fair competition, results in the best possible price to the consumer. Meddle with that system and the consumer will pay more, and ultimately, of course, it is the consumer who is important. He is actually more important than the individual shop-owner. For every shop-owner there are perhaps 100 000 consumers and they, ultimately, are the ones who are important.
The harm done to race relations in South Africa by this policy of the Government and the expense it entails for the tax-payers has been very great indeed. The Indian who has served a small suburban community with courtesy and by dint of long hours has been rooted out. What harm was he doing? Why in heaven’s name was he displaced? He was providing a service. He was providing a beneficial point of contact between differing cultures. In its submission to the Riekert Commission, the SA Indian Council contended that at that time it cost R40 000 to resettle one trader and that at that stage some 3 500 disqualified traders remained to be moved. “Disqualified traders” is an ugly expression, because they were only disqualified by reason of the colour of their skin. Those 3 500 traders would, at R40 000 each, have cost the State R140 million to move. Is that a reasonable State expense? We do not believe so. The NP has always asked how the State can reduce its expenditure. How about that particular item for a start?
It has already been spent.
Those poor 3 500 people have been moved, and it is a human tragedy. One must realize that these 3 500 disqualified traders are all South African citizens who were born and bred here. They are paying taxes and serving the community. They are moved out and then any foreigner, as long as he is White, can trade in such a trader’s place, whether or not he can speak the language, whether or not he pays any tax whether or not he knows anything about the business. When one realizes that, one is face to face with one of the many harsh aspects of apartheid.
On 2 February this year I raised this particular subject in the no-confidence debate. Talking about the central business districts in that debate, I made the following statement (Hansard, 2 February 1984, col 270):
The Minister interjected: “That is untrue”. Maybe the 80% was not precise—perhaps it is more like 85%—but the basic truth remains. I continued:
The Minister interjected: “You are talking nonsense”. I hope the hon the Minister will tell me in his reply to this debate where in fact I went wrong. I put a question to the hon the Minister to which he replied in the House this very day. On the strength of that, we find that the offices of the Department of Community Development in Johannesburg and Cape Town have issued practically no permit whatsoever. Durban appears to be different. Durban has done very well. There a number of permits have been issued.
Why did you not ask for the number of applications received?
If there were none I am sure the hon the Minister would have said so My time is now getting very short. Perhaps the hon the Minister would put me right. Both the Riekert Commission and the Erika Theron Commission recommended that these particular onerous provisions be taken out of the Group Areas Act to a greater or lesser extent. The Riekert Commission also recommended that proclamations R3, R4 and R5 of 1968 be withdrawn. May I ask the hon the Minister: Are these proclamations still in force?
I do not know. I will find out.
The hon the Minister says he will find out. Perhaps one of his officials can give him a nod or a shake of the head from the Bay. Perhaps the hon the Minister can tell us when these shameful provisions will be repealed. The hon the Minister says they are administratively carrying out the Riekert Report. Does that mean that the Group Areas Act will shortly be amended? That is a recommendation of the Riekert Report. Let me read the recommendation:
That is a very good recommendation. I believe it is high time that the colour of the hands that hand the money over the counters of trade in South Africa is matched by the colour of the hands that own the business enterprises.
Order! I regret that I cannot accept the amendment moved by the hon member as it seeks to extend the scope of the motion.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Does your ruling imply that no amendment whatsoever which extends a motion is acceptable, or is there a degree required by the Chair?
The relevant rule reads:
This amendment definitely extends the scope of the motion and consequently it cannot be allowed.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Does that apply to Bills and motions or to motions only?
My ruling applies to this motion.
Mr Speaker, I move as an amendment:
I had a premonition that this discussion could possibly lead to an announcement by the hon the Minister in the near future. One matter which is very important in South Africa is what the requirements of the various population groups are. Those requirements are that each population group will live in separate areas. As a result, our town planning schemes consist of not merely a business centre but a residential and business centre. For example, approximately 70% of the central business district of Johannesburg is residential area and 30% of it a business area. There are approximately 15 000 registered voters living in the business district of Johannesburg alone. The hon member for Turffontein will agree with me that as many as 40 000 to 50 000 people living in their group areas would be affected if this law were to come into force.
I am referring to this motion. I am anticipating what the hon minister is going to do because at one stage or another he is probably going to tell us that he has appointed a judge, and that this judge is going to submit not a judicial matter, but a socio-political matter, to us. We cannot accept this motion because in the first place, it is a requirement of life that one must keep to one’s own group. During the past 30 to 40 years the Government has followed a very decent, tried-and-tested policy. That policy has been developed further; town planning schemes and urban business districts have been established accordingly, and for that reason one cannot summarily bring about a political change in these business complexes, because this would not only lead to political change; a major structural change would also have to take place in those areas.
What would it mean if the business districts of Johannesburg were to be thrown open? The 22 000 people living in the Johannesburg city centre at present do not do their shopping in the daytime. They are, as it were, prisoners of the buildings in which they live. Fortunately, the workers leave the city centre at five or six o’clock, and only then can the elderly residents safely do their shopping. The hon member referred to Mr Nigel Mandy of “CBD” fame in Johannesburg.
†Why did the mayor of Johannesburg, Mr Gadd, and Mr Nigel Mandy suddenly decide to change the Oppenheimer Park into a beautiful garden? I shall be fair to those gentlemen. Nevertheless I believe it is because they do not truthfully admit that they are using three or four Blacks daily, from morning till night, to clear away the rubbish. Now they are going to establish a beautiful garden there, but no Black will be allowed to go there; it will be locked and Blacks will only be looking at this garden from over the wall. All these liberals and all these people who profess a desire to change this country are completely mistaken if they think that the people of South Africa will eventually accept their proposals. It is easy to talk about these things; it is easy to come along and say: What a wonderful situation it would be if we could all co-operate. Why did these people not do that in places like Durban? Are they in favour of opening all the beaches to all races? Why limit it to central business areas? Are they in favour of completely open beaches for all races? Do they want to open the beaches to everybody? [Interjections.]
*The trouble is that one cannot threaten the way of life of the people with mere words and political views; in fact, one dare not do so. I have only referred to Johannesburg, but what about the small towns where there are only shops in one small street? This is another matter entirely. Of course we do not approve of ideas of this sort at all, but when one thinks of a small town in this connection, there are not that many problems. However so many people live in cities like Johannesburg, or the central points between Krugersdorp and Springs, that one would first have to have the courage to abolish the Group Areas Act before this law could be implemented.
The hon the Minister should not, therefore, even waste his time by telling us that some judge or someone else is going to investigate the matter, because the people in this country will not accept it. We shall not accept the opening of business areas to all population groups and the abolition of the Group Areas Act.
This motion goes further—it goes further by implication—than is evident at first glance. What is the situation as regards high rise buildings, for example in the Johannesburg city centre? In virtually every one of those buildings the ground level consists of shops and other business undertakings, whereas people live in those buildings from the first floor upwards, on 15, 16, 20 or even 24 floors. One cannot, therefore, separate the business and residential areas in the city centre. Therefore we should not try, in respect of this matter, to make a show of contending that our politics is now mature enough for us simply to sacrifice everything. This is, after all, the old tune which the so-called liberals sing. After all, they usually say that people who are conservative, people who support separateness, are not yet politically mature enough for the new South Africa. [Interjections.] That is why hon members on the Government side are now in favour of the abolition of the Group Areas Act. [Interjections.] Yes, there you have it. Mr Speaker, now we see what people who follow a “sausage” policy look like.
You are talking nonsense.
I am not talking nonsense. The NP is following a “sausage” policy. They are cutting pieces off the sausage and sharing them out. They are handing one piece out by opening urban areas to all races. This is the first piece of the sausage they are giving away. Then the second piece will be cut off, when they open business districts to all races. Later on they will cut off the third piece, when they decide that the churches, too, can be integrated. [Interjections.] They will carry on like this, and cut another piece off when they decide that residential areas can also be integrated. [Interjections.] Eventually there will be nothing left to fight for. [Interjections.] Eventually they will have nothing left to fight for, and they will throw in the towel because the piece of sausage which is left will not be worth fighting for. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I am warning the NP today not to flirt with those people, because nothing they have done up to now has worked. History has proved this. The NP itself is in a cul-de-sac if it supports this motion.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Langlaagte is really an interesting speaker. One has a bit of a struggle, however, when it comes to determining whether, at all times, he is confining himself to the subject under discussion. He darts out of sight so quickly amongst the tin cans, lengths of rope, peanut butter and sausages that eventually one no longer feels like replying to his arguments. [Interjections.] At a later stage I shall be returning to the hon members of the CP and their standpoints.
At this stage, however, I just first want to refer to another interesting aspect. During the referendum campaign I found it interesting to observe, in Boksburg, that there was one CP supporter—a man from the Brentwood constituency—who was the licensee of nine Indian business undertakings in the main road of Boksburg. When one comes across something of this nature, one finds it difficult to understand CP members when they complain about nominees and all kinds of other matters.
They nevertheless do recruiting with a Bible under the arm.
It is just as the hon member for Brentwood has just said, Mr Speaker. The same individual walked round recruiting with a Bible under his arm, telling the people, of course, that they should not be yoked together with people of a different faith. He was, however, a nominee in nine such business undertakings. [Interjections.] For that very reason I am not going to pay much attention to what hon members of the CP have to say. [Interjections.]
I made a brief note of the views of hon members of the PFP in connection with the relevant matter. What struck me was that when one happens to listen to them one can never really get away from the idea that in regard to matters of this kind the PFP standpoints are solely a matter of self-interest. They are interested in having the business cores of cities and towns throughout the country opened up so that all can do business there because they realize that the fat-cats, whom they represent here, would have the business acumen and capital to go on, for many years to come, in the Coloured, Indian and Black business areas—possibly not in the Indian business areas, but definitely in the Coloured and Black business areas—suppressing the spirit of entrepreneurship of those living there if these areas were to be opened up. We shall therefore still be saddled with the problem that those people, whom we on this side of the House would like to acquire business acumen, will for years to come remain clients instead of becoming entrepreneurs. In judging the PFP standpoint, that is the only way in which I can sum it up.
I now want to come back to the speech I prepared about this motion of the hon member for Umhlanga. I think that the hon member said many things that we can agree with and for which we have some measure of respect. It also struck me, however, that it is difficult to understand the fact that for years now that hon member has been propagating the policy of “local option” here. He and his party propagate “local option”, but then he moves a motion in which he states that the Government must now do this or that, in spite of having told us throughout that this should rest with the local community. I find it difficult to reconcile such standpoints—the fact that the hon member wants the Government to adopt a standpoint now, even before those two other groups, which we consulted during the recent referendum, have taken their seats in their own Chambers. As I understand it, the hon member is furnishing a plea or the opening up of defined central business districts in the Republic of South Africa and asking that such business districts be opened to all population groups. He even went so far as to say that such a merchant should obtain proprietary rights there. That is why I agree with your ruling, Mr Speaker, in regard to the proposed PFP amendment, because that was just an extension of what is being proposed here. So the NRP is also systematically engaged in changing those own areas, for which they fought such a battle in the referendum, into problem areas. I think the hon member for Umhlanga must ask himself if that is not a matter about which those people should decide for themselves. I am looking forward to the time—we shall soon be entering that period—when we shall be able to discuss matters with the Coloureds and Indians. [Interjections.] I agree with the hon member that those areas of which he spoke should be investigated. We must look at the Sowetos, the Mitchells Plains, the Lenasias, the Daveytons and the Reiger Parks and all similar residential areas that he says should be opened to those population groups. There is not much fault that we can find with that, except that we should like to hear the opinion of the Coloureds, the Blacks and the Indians in this regard. We would therefore like to bear in mind what we have just recently entrenched in the constitution—the new dispensation which we have just submitted to the electorate and on which that electorate so enthusiastically and firmly gave its reply.
In future the Whites want joint consultation on matters of common concern, whilst in regard to own affairs we believe that each population group can have its say. The hon member has moved a motion in which he is completely aloof to the questions posed in the referendum, questions to which he and his leader persuaded the people of Natal to vote “yes”.
With reference to the White Paper published by the Government on the free trade areas and the Riekert recommendations that were accepted, I think we must also bear the guidelines of the constitution in mind, ie now when the Government takes another look at this matter. With reference to the findings in the Riekert Commission’s report on free trade areas, the Government published its White Paper in which it expressly stated that it was its aim to promote more balanced participation by all population groups in the economy of our country. We support that. This was followed up by amendments to section 19 of the Group Areas Act of 1966, to which hon members have already referred. This gave rise to approximately 30 so-called section 19 areas throughout the country being proclaimed, areas in which other population groups were allowed to trade in White areas. It must be borne in mind that at the time of that White Paper the hon members of the CP were sitting in these benches and that at the time they joined us in accepting the White Paper and everything it contained. At the time they agreed with us that there should be some of those areas. There is such an area in Elsburg, in the hon member for Germiston District’s area. There is such an area in Johannesburg, an area to which the hon member for Langlaagte agreed. There is such an area in Pietersburg. We must bear that in mind, and the hon members of the CP must never forget that they accepted the White Paper.
Where is the area in Elsburg?
That is something the hon member can ascertain from the officials. I obtained a long list from them.
It is not in the Germiston District area.
Oh, the hon member is now going to tell me that it is in the Germiston constituency, but the Germiston constituency is just across the street; it is a constituency bordering on hers. Let her be satisfied with the fact that it is at least in the area she is a part of, because whether it is in Germiston District or in Germiston, I think it is still in the same city. I notice that that hon member is on the point of wanting to say that Germiston District is not in Germiston, but that is something she must be very careful about.
In the White Paper the Government declares that local authorities will have an important role to play in this connection and that such a local authority should convey its standpoint on such an area to the Group Areas Board.
Throughout the country the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development is establishing local authorities, and one foresees an interesting period ahead now that we can also deal at such a level with those people’s opinions on such matters. We dare not ignore these people when it comes to their own business centres.
Section 19 areas came into being, amongst others, in all those areas I referred to. One is grateful that they could thus far help to build up the economy. I think it gave expertise to those people who needed it and taught us other things that we can build on.
The Riekert Commission furnished interesting findings in its investigations into free trade areas and has furnished a comprehensive report on that. Amongst other things they said that the investigations had led to three possible alternatives: (a) that the status quo could be maintained, or (b) that completely free trade could be permitted, as the PFP proposes, or (c) that demarcated trade areas could be created.
What do you advocate, Sakkie?
One wonders what the hon member for Kuruman advocated and why he is sitting here now.
By maintaining the status quo, the commission said—and we basically agree with that—one is suppressing the principles of the free market system that are adhered to in South Africa. That is why the new constitution also plays a role in this respect. In regard to the second alternative, that of completely free trade, the commission referred to the advantage that White and Indian businessmen would have over the Coloured businessmen—I believe over the Black businessman too—because the Whites and Indians generally have more commercial acumen and capital, as I have already said.
The commission has also highlighted the benefit of that as far as the overall Coloured and Black communities are concerned, ie that this would bring down prices within those Coloured and Black areas, something about which Coloureds in Reiger Park are complaining about today. We find that after the investigation into Indian merchants there took place, there are still complaints today about prices there being too high. Another phenomenon which they said was an advantage was that this would eliminate journeys to White business centres. I think that this is an important aspect that we should not lose sight of when it comes to future urban planning. Another advantage of business centres is that the rates are payable to the local authority concerned. With the many local authorities now being created, I think that this is also an important aspect. It could help those local authorities to become financially independent.
The Riekert Commission also pointed out that a further disadvantage of free trade areas was the friction they could create in particular communities. After the appearance of the Riekert report this point was very clearly illustrated by the riots in Reiger Park. I have here the HSRC report containing the findings of the commission that investigated the riots. From the report it is clearly apparent that the spark that set off the explosion in Reiger Park was specifically a dispute between two taxi owners, one a Coloured and the other an Indian. This dispute gave rise to violent rioting, in the process of which the Indian’s business undertaking was burned down. In reading the report further, one ascertain that the Coloureds subsequently conducted interviews with the writer of the report complaining about the way in which the Indian merchant ostensibly prejudiced them by, for example, charging too high prices or short-changing children. These complaints put one in mind of the complaints one has heard—and is still hearing—in the White communities about the owners of cafes and grocery stores in the White communities. I am now speaking about Whites saying such things about Whites. One cannot always believe these things, because I think that in the majority of cases it is jealousy and envy that give rise to the spreading of such stories. Such stories lead to disputes and riots. The Government must bear this factor in mind.
The final alternative that the Riekert Commission dealt with in its report related to demarcated free trade areas. In the times in which we find ourselves, and with our present level of constitutional development, this is perhaps the alternative we ought to consider. Now that Black, Coloured and Indian communities are going to be developed in all earnest, it would be advisable, as the hon member for Umhlanga has said, for the Government to take a look at this. In the report it is proposed that local authorities should request certain areas in the central business core to be demarcated as free trade areas. The benefit one would derive from this one sees, for example, in the branch of a large chain store or a hypermarket. In a town like Boksburg such a hypermarket draws twice as much business as the business core has thus far been able to do. If such a hypermarket were to be established in a Black residential area or in a Coloured residential area, with its own small shops inside that complex, this would also present the Black, Coloured and Indian entrepreneurs with opportunities for economic development.
Because at this stage many services are dominated by a few groups, this is a matter one would have to look at if one were to adopt the PFP’s proposal. It is a simple fact that there are not yet many Coloureds, Blacks or Indians who are opticians, chemists, hairdressers, petrol station owners, and so on. All such small undertakings help to form a business core, help a community to grow. One sometimes finds that a small country town’s business core cannot grow because of a lack of these facilities. When we speak about the decentralization of industries, I believe we must also start looking at the decentralization and deconcentration of our large business cores. The sooner we begin looking at the decentralization and deconcentration of these large business cores and accept this phase which South Africa has now entered upon—the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central said that the business cores were shifting towards the residential areas—the sooner will we see ourselves returning to smaller business cores. That is what will put the small merchant back on his feet. If people of colour had enough capital to compete, they would probably make a go of it in a business centre as big as that of Johannesburg, but I doubt whether there is an appreciable percentage falling into that category. That is why I believe that we should, at this stage, start helping the other population groups in the country to cultivate that ability.
We must not be too seriously concerned about the small group that is very well-endowed with capital, but we should give more attention to that small group in the middle. They must be trained and helped as quickly as possible. We can do so by seeing how their business cores can be developed.
If all groups want to establish themselves in the central business cores, shop rent could become excessively steep, which in turn would again push up prices. In the Cape Town city centre one finds that the price of a sandwich, a cup of coffee or an apple is considerably higher than it is a few kilometres further afield. This results in the community that lives here and wants this core as its normal business core, having to suffer the disadvantage of the increased prices. Such an urban core empties out at night, and this leads to a crime problem.
Because of the over-concentration of merchants in such an area there are also parking problems, which in turn place a burden on the local authorities who must meet this need. Having merchants who only want to do business in the central business core is a drawback to a city.
I think that in our cities, as in the American cities, we should look at the possibility of greater deconcentration. We are caught up in the old system of urban planning in South Africa.
I think that the Government should implement the White Paper guidelines published a few years ago. The time is now ripe to give serious attention to the development of the business cores of all communities so that all can benefit from an economy of which we are all a part.
During the past year the hon the Minister of Community Development announced that his department was going to sell 500 000 houses. The sale gave momentum to the growth of local authorities in the residential areas of other races. We must keep that momentum going and increase it by shortly—as the hon member for Umhlanga said—giving further attention to the business cores, because those are the areas in which we have not yet done much work. To date we have just been looking at the residential areas themselves. Now we must look at the next step in the development of the other communities.
Other than that I do not have much more to contribute.
Mr Speaker, I, too, want to convey my appreciation to the hon member for Umhlanga for having brought this matter to the attention of this House by means of this motion.
This is a matter which has dragged on for a very long time now, as the hon member indicated in his introductory speech. If ever there was a good example of hesitant reform in the political setup in South Africa, this matter of the opening of business districts is it. As has already been indicated, many years ago already Mr Marais Steyn announced that the Government had decided in principle to open such central business districts for trading by all races. The progress made in this regard is, to say the least, deplorable. We do not know whether this was as a result of the ultra-conservatist activities of the hon member for Langlaagte. However, the fact remains that in the final analysis the members of the Government have to accept responsibility for this. At present there are not even 30 such open central business districts. There are the so-called Indian or Oriental Plazas which have been established in some areas and of which the hon the Minister made mention last year in his discussion of his Vote. However, all these areas put together do not make any real difference to the basically unfair position in which Coloured, Indian and Black businessmen and potential businessmen find themselves as a result of the Group Areas Act. As far as I am concerned the fact that they are waiting for applications from local authorities, for example, is also the wrong approach. The Group Areas Act was placed on the Statute Book by the House of Assembly and it should take the initiative in making exceptions where they feel them to be necessary. Of course it makes sense to consult city councils, other local authorities and interested parties on such matters. However, the fact remains that this Government should not indicate that others should take the initiative when an amendment should be made in such a case.
Let us consider for a moment the kind of business districts we are referring to. Let us take Cape Town as an example. In Cape Town we have the largest concentration of Coloured people. There is no open area in central Cape Town. There is no such thing. In what is considered the city centre of Cape Town, a Coloured, an Indian or a Black may still not do business. There is a pathetic section of Albert Road and Victoria Road in Woodstock which is regarded as such an area. It is really not a sought-after business area. It is an area which was probably opened because Whites were perhaps becoming less and less interested in establishing businesses there. This again proves how hesitant the Government’s approach to this matter has been, even after so many representations have been addressed to it by the Chamber of Commerce here in Cape Town, by Assocom and by other bodies.
In his speech the hon member for Boksburg referred somewhat caustically to the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central, who sits next to me, and to the PFP in general. He said that we represented the “fat cats”. He said that what was at issue was not so much White urban areas as Coloured and Indian urban areas, and that we were addressing representations on behalf of our people in order to give them an opportunity to suppress the initiative of those people. With all due respect, the hon member is really talking through his hat. How many suburbs and urban areas are there on the West Rand and the East Rand, where the hon member comes from, where Indian businessmen are competing strongly with White businessmen? The hon member must know of hundreds of cases of this kind where those people have been competing in business areas for many years now and have built up strong business undertakings because it is in their blood and they are prepared to work hard and to compete effectively.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
I am afraid I do not have the time now. The hon member should have done so earlier. That sort of allegation is the biggest nonsense under the sun.
Are you suggesting that Indians should also be allowed to trade in Black areas?
I stand by what the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central said, namely that in that regard the Group Areas Act should not apply at all and that people should be able to trade where they have the opportunity to do so, on a sound business and economic basis.
The hon member for Langlaagte of the Conservative Party also adopted an interesting standpoint regarding the development of separate business districts. In his argument he arrived at an interesting conclusion. He referred to central Johannesburg as an example and said that the people residing in central Johannesburg found it difficult to leave their flats or homes because the streets were so crowded. Those streets are also crowded with Blacks, Coloureds and Indians.
Until five o’clock in the afternoon.
The hon member knows that. If the hon member is really consistent, I want to ask him whether he is prepared to tell the supporters of his party that as White businessmen they have to operate in White areas and, in order to be consistent, they should only take money from Whites. [Interjections.] A White bank should only take money from Whites. A White supermarket should only take money from Whites. A White garage should only supply petrol to Whites, etc. I can assure the hon member that if he were to continue in that way, even his conservative supporters would give him a hard time.
†The provision of the Group Areas Act in this respect, as in others I may say, is totally in conflict with free enterprise. It is in fact totally in conflict with any morally defensible concept of business that one can think of. The sooner one gets away from this the better.
I want to add to what the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central had to say. I want to support the ideas he expressed in his amendment, which unfortunately was ruled out of order. However, I certainly want to support the ideas contained in it. Not only should central business districts be open but also any business premises wherever. One of the very simple arguments in this connection, I believe, is that it becomes increasingly difficult for a one-man or family business to operate in a central business district and to start from scratch. These people often make a start in suburban areas. We think here of the little corner cafè, the grocery shop, the greengrocer, etc. These are people who simply through hard work and through the ability and willingness to sacrifice and to work for long hours can compete effectively in business. This they may find extremely difficult to do if they open up a business next to a supermarket in central Cape Town or central Johannesburg. I think if one is absolutely sincere about this concept—I do not doubt the sincerity of the proposer of the motion—this exception to the Group Areas Act should be extended to all business premises. Let the people go where there is a service that they can perform. It is still fresh in the memories of the people of Cape Town how an Indian businessman in Newlands was removed against his own will as well as against the will of the entire community which he served simply to satisfy the ridiculous provisions of the Group Areas Act in this connection. That is completely indefensible. It is the sort of thing we will still pay the price for at some stage in the future. I believe the sooner we get away from that kind of thing the better. There are any number of arguments why I believe people should be allowed to do business, not only in central business districts but wherever there are premises available for them, wherever whether they want to do business, wherever there is a demand for the services that they may be able to render.
Mr Speaker, I should like to start by thanking the hon member for Umhlanga for moving this motion. He is like a bulldog. He has had his teeth into this bone of contention for a long time and he has continued shaking it. I hope the time has now come for his persistence in following this matter up to bear fruit.
I see this motion as part of what we on this side of the House have argued for, as part of the climate which is necessary for reform to succeed. I also see it as part of an evolutionary process. It is part of a stable process which follows a proper and balanced programme. The hon member for Green Point reinforced the attitude of the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central. The view of that party is that all commercial sites should be opened to anyone. That party goes out of his way to tell the public of South Africa that it does not stand for forced integration, that it does not force integration on anyone.
The hon member for Bryanston confirms that that is their policy. Those two hon members who have taken part in this debate said that in no way must there be any choice in this matter; all areas, all businesses, all business rights must be open to all races, but they do not call that forced integration. The motion moved by the hon member for Umhlanga calls for open central business districts, but he specified that the local authority should have the determining say, excepting the major cities. [Interjections.] However, those hon members are not interested in the central business districts; they also want the local suburban shops in residential areas to be placed under the same umbrella, and this is the difference between us. Now let us differ over it; I am not arguing with them. I simply want to put it on record that the difference between the PFP and the NRP is that they want all business sites, including sites in residential areas, to be compulsorily opened to anyone for ownership or occupation and for trading, without reference to the wishes of the community. [Interjections.] This party says that the central business districts should be opened, but in residential suburbs the local authority should have the right to decide. Let us just get that on record. We say, let there be a choice. The official Opposition says, let there be no choice. They believe that by law everything should be open, and they are not going to give anybody any option, but it is not forced integration. That is their logic. [Interjections.]
I want to ask the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central whether their policy includes the right of the owner of a business undertaking to control admission to his business.
It goes naturally.
It goes naturally? The hon member therefore allows an owner to say: I will not have Blacks in this business. [Interjections.] Does the hon member allow the owner to discriminate? Now we have an interesting situation. The official Opposition is prepared to allow discrimination against customers by an owner, but it will not allow community in a residential area to have any say in regard to business in their area.
Would you turn away business if it came from a Black man?
We believe that that is correct…
Who is “we”?
The NRP believes that it is correct that an owner of any undertaking, be it a hotel, restaurant or anything else, should have the power to control the right of admission. [Interjections.] Now we find that that party accepts that.
Oh, now they do not accept it. [Interjections.] The Chief Whip now repudiates their spokesman and says that they do not accept it.
Business operates on a public licence.
If one has a public licence one must not discriminate on the grounds of race.
The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central has now been repudiated. The hon Chief Whip says that if one has a public licence one cannot refuse admission to anyone. Therefore the owner of a hotel, restaurant or shop—they all have public licences—cannot say who may make use of the services that he is offering. [Interjections.] Therefore they do not give the owner the power to control the right of admission. I just want to get that clear.
The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central also raised the question of the right to own or lease property. However, that goes without saying. In the present situation an open trading area includes the right to own, to lease and to occupy, but does not include residential rights. That is the difference. It is implicit in that right that if you can trade then you can occupy, lease or own. Therefore, there is no question at all about where we stand in this connection.
I want to turn now to the CP and their amendment. I think the hon member for Green Point dealt with this matter very adequately. However, I should like to put this question to the hon member for Langlaagte: Would his policy include a refusal to serve any person not belonging to the group for which that shop was established?
Just stick to what I said. Don’t put questions like that to me. I am not in Pinetown.
Mr Speaker, the hon member’s amendment states:
[Interjections.] Will they now say that they do not want White owners in a White area to serve Black, Indian or Coloured customers? Now the hon member is “tjoepstil”. His party is not being realistic in this regard. [Interjections.]
It appeared to me as though the hon member for Boksburg was a little lost in this debate. The hon member for Umhlanga made it quite clear that we believe that apart from the major city CBDs there would be local option. Therefore, we are not running away from anything. The hon member for Umhlanga said that it was a fundamental principle of our philosophy and policy that a community should have the right to determine the character of its neighbourhood. That overrides everything else.
What we have here now is one group that does not want to move at all, a group that in fact wants to restrict because there are already certain White areas where other races trade and vice versa.
Forward in reverse.
Yes, as my hon colleague says, they want to go forward in reverse. We also have the PFP who wants everything to be wide open and then there is our party that advocates a step by step evolutionary process. The difference is that we believe in evolutionary incremental reform in which reform is guided on a stable basis. What the official Opposition want to do is to open the sluicegates and let the floodwaters take what they will with them. If everything is swept away then that is just too bad. At least a principle would have been met. We say that we must adopt a practical point of view and start with the central business districts. As far as business districts in the suburbs are concerned, that will be a matter for the local authority to determine. This is an essential element of the climate of reform.
May I please ask a question? I should like to ask the hon member, when it comes to specific communities, where he would draw the boundaries of those communities. Would that be in accordance with the provisions of the Group Areas Act?
In terms of our policy the local authority will determine the affected area in which a referendum will be held among the residents of that area. That local authority could say: That is the affected area but we also want the views of the adjoining areas. However, that will be a matter for the local authority to determine. This is a very important aspect—the devolution of decision-making to the local authority.
I want to conclude, Sir, by saying that we have dealt at length during the past year with political rights. If we solve all of our political problems, our constitutional problems the fundamental battle for the future of South Africa will still not have been won. The ultimate battle that we have to fight is the battle between the capitalist free enterprise system and the Marxist socialist system. This motion calls for a step to be taken that will bring other races into participation in and on the side of the free enterprise capitalist system. To exclude other races will be push them onto the side of Marxism. I support the motion of the hon member for Umhlanga.
Mr Speaker, before I come to the main theme of the motion, I should just first like to deal with a few odd matters. In the first place I just want to refer to the speech of the hon member for Green Point, who has again found it necessary to blazon abroad one single, exceptional case that occurred a few years ago. This relates to the removal of a certain Indian merchant from a certain residential area in the Cape Peninsula. He referred to that and tried to generalize by using it as proof of the supposed harsh and aloof manner in which the Government acts against those people. I now want to tell the hon member for Green Point in all decency—I do not, in any case, feel like having a fight today—that 90% of the Indian merchants who were moved by this department to trading centres elsewhere were previously accommodated in slum areas and in slum buildings. That is something the hon member cannot deny. He is still very young and fairly inexperienced. Other hon members who know what I am talking about now should cast their minds back to the old Asian Bazaar in Pretoria and what that ramshackle building looked like. Let me remind hon members from the Transvaal about the so-called trading areas for Indians in a whole string of Transvaal rural towns. What did it look like there? [Interjections.]
Those people were removed from spots where terrible conditions prevailed. They were moved and are today in a much better position than before. They also greatly appreciate this fact. Indian merchants are grateful to the Government for what has been done for them. Every time I come into contact with them, those of them who are still living in those terrible conditions ask me please to have them moved elsewhere. I am continually inundated with requests to build more such plazas.
Let us just take as an example the Asian Bazaar in Germiston. That is a place known to hon members. It is still one of the extant old buildings. Today it is nothing more than a dirty, stinking slum. It is a disgrace to that urban area. Those people plead with me, cry and beg me to take them away from those conditions. The hon member for Green Point, however, says we must allow them to sit there and perish. [Interjections.]
That is not, in any event, in my constituency. It is not my fault that that is what it looks like there.
Ah, Bessie, you do not even have a constituency to represent. So leave well alone. [Interjections.]
The Government accepted the principle of free trade areas from the time the Riekert Commission’s report was published. I can therefore just tell the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central that he really ought to know by this time that for a long time now industrial areas have been devoid of any colour connotation. He therefore need not ask that question again by way of an attempt at moving an amendment.
To hon members of the CP let me just say that the principle of free trade areas was accepted when they were all still members of the NP caucus. [Interjections.] I do not want go quarrel with them. They had no objection to the principle involved. It was merely a question of how it was to be implemented in those areas. [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, those hon members must please not try to intimate now that they spent all those years opposing the principle involved here. I do not want to fight or quarrel with them either. I am just trying to remind them of these things because it seems to me that at times they very conveniently have fairly short memories. [Interjections.]
After the principle of free trade areas was accepted—that was after the Riekert Commission’s report appeared—the Department of Community Development went ahead with the practical implementation of the principle of a more balanced participation, by the respective population groups, in the commercial activities of the country, of course in terms of section 19 of the existing Act, as the hon member for Boksburg has, in fact, also indicated. Where we were requested to do so, and where we ourselves thought that it ought to be done, we went ahead with the establishment of such trade areas. On that basis there are, as I have said, approximately 30 such areas today. Since there was no clarity about how this policy of free trade areas should be implemented, this was one of the matters referred to the Strijdom Committee. In its report the committee recommends that free trade areas should be introduced and also suggests how this should be done.
Therefore I have no objection to accepting the hon member for Umhlanga’s motion, as motivated by him, but I want to point out, as the hon member also stated very clearly, that it is not a question of all business areas having to be opened up.
Where is the principle then?
The principle was also accepted by that hon member, but I do not want to argue with him any longer. The hon for Umhlanga has pointed this out clearly and it will not be a case of all the trade areas in this country being opened up either. The hon member’s motion calls for defined central business districts in South Africa, and on that score requests will have to be forthcoming from local authorities or the Minister will have to initiate them. There must be proper investigation, there must be proper definition and it must be determined where the specific business areas are to be located. On that basis I am prepared to accept the hon member’s motion. The hon member presented the motion in a very responsible manner, and in that spirit I believe that we can now fruitfully begin giving gradual consideration to applications for the establishment of such free trade areas.
The Government appointed a technical committee of inquiry, on the recommendation of the President’s Council, to investigate the Group Areas Act and how the Group Areas Act and related legislation was being implemented.
You must leave that alone. Do it the way you want it. Why burden other people with it?
The hon member must allow me an opportunity to continue.
The Strijdom Committee, as it is known, consisted of the Hon Mr Justice B J Strijdom as chairman, Mr S W van Wyk, chairman of the Group Areas Board, Mr G F Smalberger, retired chief legal adviser and Mr P J Prins, formerly a senior official of the Department of Planning, with Mr N Terblanché of the department as secretary. The committee was engaged in the work for a period of approximately 18 months and did a very comprehensive job in a very thorough manner. On behalf of the department and the Government I sincerely want to thank the Hon Mr Justice Strijdom and his committee for the tremendous task they carried out. The committee processed a mountainous volume of written representations and travelled the country from corner to corner to hear evidence and representations from various bodies and individuals. In the process great sacrifices were made by Mr Justice Strijdom, who was the only full-time member of the committee and on whose shoulders most of the task rested. I sincerely want to thank the Hon Mr Justice Strijdom for having completed this tremendously extensive and important task.
The committee has now reported. Only a limited number of copies of the report are available at present. It is now being processed further by the Government Printer, and some or other time next week I hope to have several copies available so that the report can be released. Provisionally the report is only available in Afrikaans, but it will be translated as quickly as possible. A start has already been made and the report will therefore shortly also be available in English. On behalf of the Government I should now like to make a statement on the report.
†On 27 November 1981 the Minister of Community Development appointed a technical committee of inquiry, known as the Strydom Committee, to investigate the Group Areas Act, 1966 and related legislation. The committee has completed its investigation, and its report, which will be released in due course, has been received and considered by the Government. The committee incorporated its findings and recommendations in alternative draft Bills which form an annexure to the report. After consideration of the report the Government has decided to refer it to a select committee of Parliament which will be required to prepare a Bill, without further investigation, on the basis of the draft Bills contained in the annexures for submission to Parliament. It must, however, be made clear at this stage that the Government has reservations in respect of certain recommendations in the report and that it will furnish evidence in this respect to the select committee. This procedure will at the same time provide the opportunity to ensure that the proposed legislation thoroughly takes into account the provisions of the new constitution, particularly in respect of own and general affairs.
*At this stage I consider it advisable to briefly highlight certain aspects. The terms of reference of the technical committee were as follows:
In its report the Strijdom Committee mentions that legal coercion is indispensable when it comes to the maintenance of residential separation. The committee is, however, unanimous about the fact that the form taken by the legal coercion and the manner of its implementation, as contained in the Group Areas Act, 1966, is not indispensable, and the committee came to the conclusion that in the interests of maintaining the traditional way of life of residential separation and the orderly establishment of communities, existing legal provisions be repealed and be replaced by legislation introducing a new approach.
By way of schedules the committee’s report contains two draft Bills. The one simply deals with amendments and the consolidation of the Group Areas Act as such. In the other draft Bill the committee recommends that the Group Areas Act, the Community Development Act, the Slums Act, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act and section 28(1) of the General Law Amendment Act, 1969, be repealed. To take the place of these four Acts a Land Affairs Act must be drawn up in which the inalienable principles, as set out in the committee’s terms of reference, are consolidated.
The new dispensation we are now entering upon rests largely on the preservation and maintenance of own communities.
†The proposed Land Affairs Act makes provision for the registration of conditions of title whereby possession and occupation of land within the existing group areas are reserved for members of the population group for which the group area was proclaimed and outside such group areas for members of the population group who were owners of the property in the group area concerned at the commencement of the Act, but with certain exclusions and exemptions. Conditions of title laid down in terms of the proposed Act will be enforced as if being conditions of title at township establishment and the creation or extension of further residential areas will be effected by amending the conditions of title where necessary.
Free trade areas can be established by withdrawing conditions of title stipulated in terms of the proposed Act regarding the possession or occupation of land in such an area except in so far as the conditions of title provide for occupation for residential purposes.
Furthermore, occupation is defined in the proposed Act inter alia to implement a recommendation of the Riekert Commission that all categories of employees be exempted from groups area restrictions. This includes employees in managerial and supervisory positions.
*The Act also contains provisions to combat unlawful encroachment in residential areas by compelling the owner of the land to which the Act is applicable to ensure that the land is not occupied in contravention of the conditions of title imposed in terms of the proposed Act and to counter the system of nominees by imposing a specific prohibition on this type of trade licence and placing the onus of proof unequivocally on the accused.
It is also proposed that the Group Areas Board and the Community Development Board be replaced by a Land Affairs Board, which would be responsible for the acquisition and expropriation of affected land. The existing Community Development Fund will, however, remain in existence as the Land Affairs Fund.
You will then be the Minister of Land Affairs.
What is that hon member babbling so much about now?
The Strijdom Committee also recommends that the provisions in the Community Development Act relating to the provisions of housing and the development of townships and for which provision has not yet been made in the Housing Act, be incorporated in the latter Act.
To replace the Slums Act, 1979, it is proposed that it be made a duty for local authorities to ensure that all buildings and structures in their areas of jurisdiction comply with their building and health regulations and that the Minister be empowered to take steps in cases of local authorities neglecting to do their duty.
To replace the Preservation of Separate Amenities Act, 1953, the right is being grated to any owner or manager of any public premises or public vehicle to grant, refuse or reserve entry, at his own discretion.
Mr Speaker, it gives one an incredible feeling to stand up in this House after hearing what the hon the Minister had to say this afternoon and to appreciate that he has in fact accepted a motion which one has introduced on behalf of an Opposition party.
As my hon leader has said, perhaps I have been a bit like a bulldog. People refer to toothless old bulldogs and I think that over the years probably a few of the teeth have dropped out, but they say that the only way to release a bulldog’s grip is to turn a hosepipe on him. Well, I hope nobody turns a hosepipe on me here.
The hon the Minister has made a comprehensive statement here this afternoon, a very interesting one and one which, I believe, will have to be studied before any further comment can be issued. We want to take the opportunity to do that. I would, however, like to compliment him on the work done through the Strijdom Committee. As the hon the Minister did, I should like to compliment the gentlemen who served on that committee.
I think we have reached two milestones today. We have seen two important events take place in the House this afternoon. Firstly, I believe we have seen a real start to the new style of consensus politics. I believe we have seen it in a meaningful way, and it is my fervent hope that it is here to stay. Secondly, we have seen that which I have always hoped would come about, namely that the designated central business districts may soon be open for trading by members of all race groups.
With those few words and my thanks to the hon the Minister, I move, by agreement:
Mr Speaker, I move:
The House adjourned at