House of Assembly: Vol114 - FRIDAY 25 MAY 1984
Vote No 8—“Constitutional Development and Planning” (contd):
Mr Chairman, I actually want to address you in your dual capacity as Chairman of this Committee and as the hon member for Klip River. I want to convey my sincere thanks to you for the appreciation expressed by you and other hon members for the work done by the officials of the department, and I fully endorse your remarks.
I also wish to express my thanks and appreciation for the supportive speeches made by hon members on this side of the House. I feel compelled to refer to a totally new attitude and new accents which have emerged from these speeches. I want to commend the hon members for this. I am convinced that it testifies to attitudes which could lay the foundation for the resolution of many of the country’s problems.
The hon member for Klip River referred, among other things, to multilateral co-operation, and made a plea for a permanent secretariat. I want to react at once by saying that the Government has accepted in principle that such a secretariat will be established, and the investigations in this connection are nearing completion.
I want to agree at once with the hon member for Mossel Bay when he says that attitudes, co-operation and the search for consensus will be important elements of any solution, whichever party may have to implement it.
The hon member for Bloemfontein North made an interesting contribution and also emphasized a very important aspect, and this is that it is a basic ideal that the conflict pattern in the practice of politics should be replaced by consensus politics and a search for this and by the politics of unanimity or acceptance. Apart from the malignant political outgrowths from the body politic of the country, as manifested in the narrow-minded and anachronistic views of the CP and its fellow-travellers, there is an increasing realization among the great majority of Whites in this country that the urgency of the country’s problems places the accent on the search for common interests and the elimination of divisive factors. Although we may disagree about the way in which this new sentiment and this new spirit may best be utilized in the interests of the country, it is evident that in this connection, even the referendum and the Constitution have led to drastic changes in the views and attitudes of our country’s people. I want to thank all those who have participated in this, because they are not confined to any particular group.
The hon members for Newcastle and Randfontein made well-prepared speeches and referred to the new role and responsibilities of local authorities. This aspect forms an important part of the solution to our problems, also with regard to politics in general. It is obviously true that the quality and the leadership potential of community leaders who are prepared to accept greater responsibility on the local level are of vital importance. I want to say at once that the interest taken by the voter himself in his system of local government will have to become increasingly important in future if we are to succeed with the concept of electoral control over and the devolution of power to local authorities.
†It was gratifying to listen to the hon member for Maitland. I should like to thank him most sincerely for stressing the complexity of the concept of the development of a country and that he pointed out that constitutional development does not take place in a void divorced from other spheres of development or human activity. Constitutional development is obviously also influencing the economic, the social and the physical development areas and vice versa. Should we lose sight of this broader perspective as outlined by the hon member, it would definitely be to the detriment of the country’s global development.
*The hon member for Witbank deserves my thanks for his effective reaction to the politics of fear practised by the party to which he addressed his remarks. I also want to thank him for his contribution on the concept and the development of local government systems, in which I know he has a very important share.
I thank the hon member for Fauresmith for his contribution to the debate. I agree with him that if the new political system is deliberately sabotaged, the aggressive boy-cotters in the ranks of the Opposition and elsewhere will not be the only ones to suffer, but the country as a whole will ultimately suffer as a result of that.
The hon member for Roodepoort mentioned the interesting possiblity of orientation courses for Parliamentarians. The concept of orientation courses has already been accepted at the local government level and attention is being given to it.
Prof Roelofse, for example.
Perhaps we could also put it to good use in the case of the hon member for Rissik, because it is important that the CP should learn what responsiblity means, and such a course could be invaluable to them in this connection.
The hon member for Roodepoort also referred to the Prohibition of Political Interference Act, and the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs has already issued a statement in this connection. I have nothing to add to that, except for saying that if the system is to succeed, there will undoubtedly have to be an increasing degree of co-operation between governing parties in the respective chambers. Only then will the system succeed and will the legislation be passed.
The hon member for Randfontein dealt effectively with the concepts of self-determination and sovereignty and I do not wish to refer to them any further. He also referred to the accepted principle of the devolution of power and the role of local authorities. I want to tell him at once that although it is not possible at this early stage to determine the functions, responsibilities and financial means of authorities on this level and on the second level of government, there can be no doubt about the fact that a restructuring in this connection is essential. I want to mention one example of a task which could be transferred to local authorities as an additional responsiblity, namely certain aspects concerning urban and town planning and the removal of certain control measures in this connection which are being applied to them at the moment by provinces and other authorities. I want to confirm, also in reply to the hon member for Durban North, that the process of negotiation will continue. I take cognizance of the hon member’s view in connection with the constitution of second-tier authorities. In any event, we shall negotiate about new concepts, as I have already undertaken to do.
The hon member for Prieska referred to regions which had been delimited for planning and development purposes. He felt that it would be a good idea to give consideration to a reclassification of regions, and more specifically of region B. In this connection, I want to give him the assurance at once that the question of the possible reclassification of regions, including the one to which he refered, has frequently been brought to the attention of my department and myself and that I have already ordered a fresh investigation into the matter and have required a report to be submitted to me in this connection through the National Regional Development Advisory Council.
The hon member for Innesdal has apologized for not being able to be present, but I nevertheless wish to thank him for his supportive remarks in connection with the Greater Pretoria guide plan, as well as the guide plan project in general. I believe that he shares the view of the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs. His remarks about statistics were very important. I agree that statistics should render an extremely important supporting service to those who have to take decisions in the private as well as the public sectors. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that statistics should be as reliable as possible. It is also obvious that they should be compiled in a co-ordinated manner. I believe that there are too many organisations which are collecting statistics in an unco-ordinated manner. In this way, we are wasting precious manpower, and information is lost in the process. I believe, therefore, that this unco-ordinated action should be the subject of a new approach and a revaluation. The provision of statistics places a heavy burden on the private sector and on respondents in general. It is my standpoint that we should do everything in our power to lighten the burden and that we should use technological methods and instruments to enable us to do so. Here I am thinking in particular of the small businessman, and I think we should have a different approach to the collection of information concerning him, perhaps in the form of abbreviated questionnaires.
In the the third place, there is an increasing collection of statistics all over the world as a function which falls within the responsibility and jurisdiction of the Government, and concern is expressed from time to time about the confidentiality of some information which reaches the State. I believe that we have a good record in this connection, but I think we should give attention to this matter once again. As a result of the considerations I have mentioned, and of the requests made by the hon member for Innesdal, I have decided to order an investigation by experts into this matter. It will be undertaken by Prof Steyn.
I now wish to refer to the remarks made by certain hon members about Black development, and I want to begin with the hon member for Innesdal, which brings me back to the subject of statistics. The most important input in working out policies in every sphere is that the people who have to make policy judgments must be aware of the factual basis on which the argument is conducted. If there is one sphere in which it is of vital importance that we should be aware of the factual reality as it is and not as we would like it to be, then it is with regard to the Blacks. I want to deal with the matter in the light of this.
There are certain facts in this connection. According to the 1980 census, 10,1 million Blacks within the RSA, ie outside the independent and self-governing states, represent 47,5% of the total Black population of the RSA, the independent and the self-governing states. Of these 10,1 million people, 5,3 million live in urban areas and 4,8 million in rural areas. 3,8 million, or 71%, of the 5,3 million people live in six metropolitan areas. This is part of the realtiy.
A second part of the reality is the fact that a large number of these people have a right of permanent residence in South Africa in terms of our legislation, in terms of the 1945 legislation. However, the permanence of people is not determined by the land title which they possess. Other laws regulate the permanence, entry and departure of people. These are all facts which we must bear in mind in referring to these matters.
Black development is not a gaping hole, as the hon member for Sea Point alleges. I use the word “development” deliberately. In my opinion, it is a comprehensive process with economic, social and constitutional implications which have to be very carefully co-ordinated and synchronized with one another. We cannot talk about Black political rights as though they can be exercised in isolation. With regard to general development or to constitutional development as such, there are no simple solutions. There are various components of solutions concerning the question of Black rights. The fact remains that the coming into being of independent states forms part of such a solution, and not only an effective part of it. Already there are four independent states with a population of approximately 5 million people within their borders. The political rights of these people are fully accommodated there. The existence of national states within whose geographical borders 5,3 million people are living is an inescapable fact, not only according to our perception, but also according to the perception of the leaders of those countries.
Since the summit meeting in 1982, a pattern of co-operation has begun to develop within which co-operation is taking place with regard to the full spectrum of socio-economic problems. The Development Bank is another component of the total concept of development. Within the multilateral Ministers’ Council and its technical substructure, too, talks are constantly being held in an organized way, not only in respect of the people who live within the states, but also in respect of their citizens outside the states. This development at inter-state level between states is a logical outcome of the Government’s ethnic policy with regard to the Blacks since the fifties. I want to tell the hon the Leader of the Opposition that whatever his policy may be, the existence of these legislative assemblies and independent parliaments will have to form part of it. Neither he not the leaders will be able to undo them. Whatever distorted perceptions there may be, it has never been the intention to leave Black nations in a socio-economic or political desert through the process of leading them to independence. The intention is, and has been from the start, to find a basis on which it would be possible to plan, decide and work with them on an equal footing to ensure our mutual security, stability, welfare and prosperity.
The CP seems to be under the impression that in its essence and philosophy, this policy should amount to a way of getting rid of people of colour, so that the Whites may exercise their sovereign right to self-determination without any impediment. This is proved by the reckless way in which the hon member for Lichtenburg used certain figures. The hon member reminds me of the man who said, in commenting on averages: The fellow’s head is in an oven; his legs are in a freezer; the average is right; the man is dead.
I have heard that before.
Perhaps, but the hon member should pay attention for a change. His problem is that he can only hear; he cannot listen. He has always been that way. [Interjections.] Sir, just look at the hon member’s use of the figures. Among other things, he failed to mention the cost of subsidising transport services, which amounts to approximately R8 million and which is spent mainly on behalf of Black people outside the states. The hon member did not even take that into account. He did not take into account the cost of providing the infrastructure; he did not take into account the cost of housing and development which is not reflected in the Budget. He deliberately reduced the figure. He deliberately omitted these aspects.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon the Minister allowed to say that an hon member has deliberately failed to mention something to this House? [Interjections.]
Order! I did not hear the last words. Would the hon member just repeat his point of order?
The hon the Minister said that the hon member had deliberately supplied incorrect information or facts.
No, I did not say that [Interjections.]
Order! Would the hon the Minister just react to that?
Sir, I said that the hon member had deliberately refrained from giving those figures to this House. [Interjections.]
That is not unparliamentary. The hon the Minister may proceed.
I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition whether he and his party do not realize, in their obsession with unitary structures, that we have liberated nations and people in terms of this policy? Why must we abandon this line of development, this development plan, while it is now coming to fruition with the states that have already attained independence? Why do they keep telling these states: You are not free; we must embark upon a protracted, indefinite process of convention which will lead to a non-racial federation? The hon the Prime Minister has told the states that are to form part of his federation plan that there is nothing to prevent them from forming their own federation. One thing must be borne in mind, however: If that fails, it will have dire consequences for them.
The hon member for Sea Point talks about a gaping hole, but the 1982 legislation in respect of Black local authorities, in which they had a part, also forms part of the solution.
If only the hon member would contain his impatience. The decentralization policy forms part of this. It concerns the process of urbanization and the process of the decentralized geographical development of the country and its inhabitants. The population development strategy forms part of the development strategy in respect of Blacks living outside their states and in White areas. No one is suggesting that there are simple solutions in a complex society. No one in the country thinks that we have come to the end of the constitutional road of South Africa. There are countries in the world whose constitutional history has been written, but in South Africa we are still writing ours. Writing it here is going to be much more difficult than in any other society I know of. However, we shall not succeed in the atmosphere in which our debates are often conducted. We shall not succeed if our standpoints are formulated by an obsession which keeps outdated fictions alive.
I have always said—and so have hon members on the other side of the House, including the CP—that the status quo has to change. No one accepts the present dispensation any more. We may want to change it for different reasons or in different ways, but the fact is that we are sitting here in our various capacities on the basis of a standpoint we have adopted on this matter.
The hon member for Lichtenburg, who has just made a comment, was once charged with the responsibility of acting as chairman of a team which was investigating the policy relating to ties with independent and national states. The reason why he did this was that there were few and inadequate political ties between the citizens and the governments of those states. That was why he co-operated. This was a factual basis for an investigation. He suggested that we investigate the concept of citizenship and the concept of nationality. Only one inevitable inference can be drawn from his recommendation, and that is that the possibility should be investigated of a person being a national of a greater constellation consisting of various states and a citizen of his own state. The hon member is nodding his agreement. He illustrates the problems and the reality we have to contend with. But at the same time, he and his colleagues argue that the attainment of independence by the Black nations is a final solution to the political problems and that by the same token, it can also be the solution to the Coloured and Asian problems. How does he reconcile his conduct at the time, in wanting to face up to reality, with his conduct of today? I may tell that hon member that he himself could not find a solution. He himself could not find it, and I am not blaming him.
You have not found the solution either.
Of course not! That is what I am saying here. [Interjections.] These are the problems to which I as well as the hon the Leader of the Opposition have referred, and which form part of the terms of reference of the Cabinet Committee.
The hon member for Sea Point and the hon member for Durban Point asked for more particulars about the activities of the special Cabinet Committee. Since this committee was established in February 1983, the Government has issued an open invitation to all those involved to make inputs. The hon the Leader of the Opposition indicated that he would avail himself of the opportunity. It is relevant that that investigation was announced in February last year, that is to say, before we came to this House with the constitutional dispensation. This implies, therefore, that the course of development and the attention which is being given to the political future of people in this country run parallel to one another, and this gives the lie to stories which are being spread to the effect that there are omissions and deficiencies in respect of Black development.
Several memoranda have been received in this connection, and I am waiting for hon members in this House who have an opinion on the matter to tell us what it is. We cannot get away from the fact that this Government is in power, and if hon members believe that they have a contribution to make, let them do so while the investigations are taking place. Let them come and make that contribution, so that they may be questioned on it, and let us put a stop to our emotional quarrels in this House.
Negotiations are being conducted with the governments of the independent states and with those of the national states, and those negotiations are also being extended to include community leaders outside the national and independent states. Nor are the negotiations being conducted with Black people only. After all, their development affects not only their own lives, but also the development of Whites, Coloureds and Indians. In spite of the referendum—and the hon member knows that we had a difficult year last year—we had talks with leaders on three occasions last year. This year we have already had three meetings, and a fourth one is being planned for June. Let me say at once that the agenda for our discussions is not drawn up unilaterally by this Government, but is drawn up in co-operation with those states that make contributions. We have already come a long way. We have come a long way with processes and forums for negotiating with people. Is it not true that we have reduced tension? Is it not true that when one walks through the streets of our cities, there is no tension in in those streets? Without interference, the atmosphere in this country would have even more defused than in most developing Western countries I know of. That is all I want to say about this aspects.
Now I wish to refer to the other standpoint on Blacks. We and many Black leaders believe that in terms of the policy of self-government and independence on territory which has historically belonged to Blacks and which we are adding to and rounding off wherever possible by means of a process of consolidation, we are giving people freedom in such a way that they are not dominated by other nations or groups, nor are they dominated by groups within their own ranks. We are not simply talking about 20 million Blacks. The only characteristic they really have in common is the fact that they are Black. Amongst themselves, however, they are divided into groups. I need not say any more to hon members about that either. Even if we are not solving all the problems with regard to Black development, therefore, we are nevertheless achieving success in this connection, and it would be senseless to abandon this aspect of the policy.
This brings me to the hon the Leader of the Opposition. I understand his standpoint on participation. However, I want to put it to him in all fairness that he and the hon members for Groote Schuur are making a significant and positive contribution on the subcommittee on the Standing Rules and Orders, which proves, I believe, that they are trying to help make a success of the new system. For that I am grateful to them. I want to express my gratitude for that, because it is only fair. The other parties are doing the same. In fact, the hon member for Kuruman is also a member of that committee and he is doing exactly the same. He is also trying to have the rules formulated in such a way that the system will be able to function.
You know what my standpoints are, however. [Interjections.]
No, wait a minute. I am simply trying to give credit where it is due.
But just say what my standpoint is, then.
The hon member is welcome to put his own standpoint. Mr Chairman, this is the first time a man has objected to my praising him. [Interjections.]
Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts! [Interjections.]
I should like to react to the ideas expressed by the hon the the Leader of the Opposition. The hon leader must not misunderstand me now, because what I an going to say is not meant as a reproach. He, too, has a long way in changing his position. He has begun to think constructively. After all, his proposals relating to a constitutional advisory council are much more realistic and much more practical than his national convention. I am saying this to begin with. In fact, the hon the Leader of the Opposition knows that we have given attention to the normalisation of institutions for liaison with Blacks, and the concept of institutionalised investigation and advice is not a new one. The hon member for Helderkruin referred to this.
Let us just for a moment examine the activities in which the hon the Leader of the Opposition and the hon member for Rissik have participated. What has been said there? We have accepted that in order to increase the legitimacy, the acceptability, of proposals, there should be the widest possible consultation among all the population groups. We have accepted this. However, we have not only accepted this; we have also accepted that the Black nations ot this country are included among the various groups that are being affected. Is this not true? The hon member for Rissik said “yes”. Furthermore, it has been accepted that we have to establish bodies in order to do this. The hon member for Rissik helped me with the President’s Council, because the President’s Council is a mixed council, and I can assure the hon member for Rissik that none of the members of that council has lost his identity. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Rissik helped me in another respect. He said that there should be a Black council in addition to that council, and in doing so, he gave practical expression, in a commendable way, to his philosophical standpoint that there should be consultation between the groups.
The hon member went even further and said a third thing. He said he accepted that a committee or committees of the Black council could consult with committees of the President’s Council and that they could investigate and advise together. At that time, he did not assume that this meant a loss of his identity. At that time, he had enough confidence in the group to which he belonged not to think that co-operation with other people meant giving up one’s identity. What has happened to him since then? [Interjections.]
For his own reasons, the hon the Leader of the Opposition would not co-operate as far as the President’s Council was concerned. However, I do not wish to deal with that aspect now. The hon the Leader of the Opposition has come a long way, however, because he is going to participate in the next one. I thank him for this. I am not reproaching him. I am saying that this is progress, and I think he wants us to make progress. That is why I welcome the fact that he is beginning to move in that direction. I want to accept that this is his serious intention, and I shall give him credit for that, until the contrary has been proved.
I also accept that the hon member for Rissik was serious about this, and I invite him to let me have his view of the subjects for discussion with the Cabinet Committee. I also invite him to formulate his standpoint and to explain it to me. I invite him to come and debate with me the true problems which we have to deal with. This is an invitation and not a reproach. I am inviting him.
I understand that the hon the Leader of the Opposition is going to speak after me. I appealed to Coloured and Asian Leaders yesterday to participate. I submit that the hon the Leader of the Opposition is able to do the same without changing his standpoint. I submit that now that the constitution is a reality, he is prepared to participate in it, even though he does not agree with it. I ask him whether he is prepared to tell this to the Coloured people and the Asians as well. Will he tell them here in this Committee: “This is now a reality; I have accepted this reality, and I advise you to do the same”?
Mr Chairman, I think the hon the Minister perhaps did not quite understand the essence of the plea made by the hon member for Sea Point and myself in respect of Black constitutional development. We did not say for a moment that no development was taking place. We did not say for a moment that we did not take cognizance of the Development Bank, of the existence of national states and self-governing states, of the Small Business Development Corporation and all those things. We were not trying to turn it into a debating point. What we were trying to say was that in spite of these things, there was a deficiency which the Government sensed, and which we identified together with the Government, namely the fact that there is an area of common concern between Whites and Blacks with regard to which there are no suitable mechanisms for negotiation and consultation. That was the point I was trying to make. We were not trying to conduct a debate on that point. In that spirit, I tried to make a proposal in terms of which neither the Government nor the Blacks nor any other party would in fact be compromised. What I meant was precisely that if such an interim constitutional advisory council were established, no one would be compromised, and the Government itself would not be compromised, not even in terms of its own policy, but a forum would be created in which such discussions could take place. I am sorry that the hon the Minister did not react specifically to that proposal of mine. I should like to ask the hon the Minister to do so if another opportunity arises. We have no objections—we are glad to do so—to giving evidence or to being questioned before the hon the Minister’s Cabinet Committee. We shall do so. However, that is not the essence of the problem. The essence of the problem is an opportunity for discussions between the executive authority of the country and people from the Black community who are able to make a contribution with regard to this shortcoming which we have pointed out.
But surely it is possible.
But I said it seemed to me that there was room for a statutory body.
The hon the Minister tells me that I have changed my standpoint and that this amounts to progress. I am glad if the hon the Minister thinks so and if he thinks that there has now been a radical change of attitude.
I did not say “radical”.
That is correct. The hon the Minister said that there had been a change of standpoint. The hon the Minister should not get so excited; I have only five minutes available to me.
The point is that when one examines the minority report in the interim report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Constitution, the following statement in Annexure B, paragraph 11, sets out our standpoint very clearly:
It goes on to say:
I was only trying to refer to that problem again and to say how we could deal with it.
My time is very limited, but a second point which I should like to mention briefly is the appeal which the hon the Minister has now addressed to us in respect of Coloured and Indian people. We made our standpoint very clear at the PFP congress in November last year. We said that we believed that just as the Whites had had an opportunity to say whether they were for or against the Constitution, the coloureds and the Asians should receive the same opportunity by way of a referendum. The Government and members of the Coloured and Asian communities, whoever they may have been, came to the conslusion, in their wisdom, that this would not happen, but that elections would be held. When elections are held, we are dealing with party political participation in a particular matter. It was our standpoint that we would not interfere with the Coloured elections on a party political basis, but that we were available to provide assistance and advice on how it could be done. I may tell the hon the Minister that we have already done so. We shall give help and advice, not on the way in which the election should be fought, but on what the nature of an election is. We want to give technical advice and we are available to do so. However, we are not going to participate for or against any party in this situation.
†The last point I wish to make is this: The hon the Minister himself made the point that we are in a very delicate situation as far as constitutional change is concerned, that in fact this is a situation loaded with conflict potential, that all of us must make a contribution towards evolutionary change in our society and that all of us must make a contribution to avoid wrong impressions, stereotypes and distortions of the South African situation. I want to agree with him wholeheartedly.
I should also like to say, however, on the eve of the departure of the hon the Prime Minister, on the eve of the implementation of the new Constitution, I cannot think of anything that is calculated to confirm the worst stereotypes about South Africa, actually to demonstrate the existence of racial insensitivity and to bring our judiciary and our Bench into disrepute than the judgment and the statement by one of our judges saying that a man deserves a medal and has done a service to the community for shooting somebody who stole milk money to the value of 63 cents. Honestly, if that report is correct, I appeal to the Government to repudiate this gentleman and to distantiate it from that type of action, because it destroys all the good that we could possibly do in the area of constitutional change.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister has already intimated that he will reply to the representations of the hon the Leader of the Opposition. I am therefore going to concentrate on matters I should like to bring to the Minister’s attention.
Constitutional development is in the limelight at present, and, in my opinion, the other leg of the department, viz planning, is not being given the necessary attention. I should therefore like to dwell for a few moments on the activities of that section of the hon the Minister’s department that has to do with planning.
Planning entails the drawing up of a rational programme of action to achieve a predetermined goal. We find this goal in the preamble to the new Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, viz “To further the contentment and the spiritual and material welfare of all in our midst”. Planning is therefore a multidisciplinary action and covers the physical, economic and social spheres. In order to achieve its goal of implementing rational planning, the department has to contend with two basic problems. Firstly, there is the unbridled crowding or concentration of the population, and in conjunction with this, the concentration of economic activities at a few points. One thinks of the four metropolitan area in particular. Secondly, it has to deal with an ever-increasing population which has to be accommodated and maintained on a surface which remains constant. In this regard it must be borne in mind that some of our resources are becoming depleted. For example, we know that agricultural land is becoming increasingly depleted as a result of the expansion of municipal areas, etc, whilst the mouths that have to be fed are increasing in number all the time.
It is sometimes claimed that planning is done for the mere sake of planning. That is definitely not the case, and I want to refer to three levels in particular on which a great deal of success has already been achieved, viz national planning, regional planning and guide planning.
As regards national planning, I should like to point out that the National Physical Development Plan was released in 1975 in terms of which cities and towns outside the metropolises which had development potential and which could therefore accommodate the future increase in population were identified. If these cities and towns had not been identified, the pressure on the four metropolitan areas would have been greater.
The value of regional planning is not always recognized. In drawing up the National Physical Development Plan, extensive use was made of available data and studies to delimit regions, to determine economic activities, to analyze physical background and to identify historical and social trends. In the beginning stages of regional planning, planning consisted mainly of the collection of data on regions without real proposals being formulated. This took place despite the fact that as far back as the forties the Social and Economic Planning Council emphasized the importance of regional planning as a means of utilizing all natural resources to the maximum, of bringing about a more even distribution of the population and of serving as an overall framework within which urban planning could find physical expression. Since the appearance of the National Physical Development Plan, regional planning has undergone a transformation. Since then a national physical framework in which regional planning can be formulated has been made available. It is now possible to formulate rational proposals for development for particular regions. Since this plan appeared, this is being done in respect of various regions. We also read in the report that the National Physical Development Plan is being revised at present, and we look forward with interest to the revised version.
We have also heard of the concern expressed by the hon the Minister of Environment Affairs and Fisheries about the utilization of water. The question is asked whether it is fair that water should be taken to industries at a high cost, or whether the time has not come for industries, newly-established industries in particular, to be compelled to go to the water? In this regard one thinks of the Tugela in particular, as well as other areas. I trust that the greatest amount of co-operation possible will be established between the two departments so that this ideal can be realized.
I also wish to express my gratitude to the Walvis Bay Development Advisory Committee for the good work they are doing. This committee is under the competent leadership of Mr Bill Visagie as chairman, and Mr Meyer du Toit as secretary. The hon the Minister established this committee to give him advice with regard to regional development at Walvis Bay. I want to point out that the other population groups are also represented on this committee, and not only the Whites.
I also want to refer to the important liaison with the municipality in this regard. The importance of third tier government will become increasingly important in the new dispensation. Municipalities control the lives of people—90% of the population in South Africa—from the cradle to the grave. We look forward to greater substance being given to these third tier authorities in the new dispensation and that it will soon become clear which functions will be allocated to these authorities, as well as what funds will be allocated to them, so that meaningful and timeous planning can be done in this regard.
As regards Walvis Bay, free trade zones must be looked at timeously. This will be a tremendous incentive to industries and it will stabilize trade. I want to request the support of the hon the Minister and his department for this, since it can only succeed if it is supported and initiated by the Government.
A number of years ago, Mr B C Floor from the University of Stellenbosch completed a study at the request of the municipality with a view to creating a free harbour or free trade zone at Walvis Bay. He said in his report that some of the most important advantages were the following: An opportunity for traders to import goods, to store them, process them and export them again, free of customs levies and import control. It will also serve as an attraction for tourists, and it will make the lengthening of the railway line to Botswana and links with Central Africa possible. The harbour authorities should be given greater autonomy, in co-operation with the municipality of Walvis Bay. Once again, the Walvis Bay Development Advisory Committee strongly comes to the fore. In addition, Mr Floor emphasized the necessity for military presence in Walvis Bay and he regarded it as being in the best interests of the RSA, South West Africa and other Western countries. These recommendations, if they are carried out, could be important in serving as a compromise between the so-called dispute that has arisen over the position of Walvis Bay in South West Africa, Swapo and the RSA, and it could be an important stimulant for South West Africa after independence.
This department is engaged in important and decisive matters. The constitutional changes we are facing and which South Africa is wrestling with, deserve the support of all of us. I plead that everyone will attempt to cast aside their prejudices and rather take note of the points of similarity, of points of contact. It will be found that there is a great deal on which we agree and that it is not necessary to concentrate on the few points of difference. I want to make a plea that we should accept the things that cannot be changed.
What points of contact do you have with the CP?
There are many points of contact, if only the hon member would look for them. Unfortunately the hon members only concentrate on those points on which they differ. Let us also have the courage to change what we can, and let us pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Walvis Bay will pardon me for not reacting to his speech. I want to come back briefly to the debate that was conducted earlier today and yesterday.
It was claimed that we in the CP were being led by considerations of racial prejudice, etc, in our approach and in stating our standpoint. When the hon member for Waterberg argued that according to their view the PFP could reason logically that if one brought Brown people and Indians into the decision-making process of central Government, Blacks should also be brought in, it was stated that this was not a valid standpoint. I want to refer briefly to the standpoint the hon the Prime Minister adopted when he himself was the Minister in charge of Coloured Affairs. I am referring to the debate in 1965, which was concerned with why Coloureds would not be included in the Parliament of South Africa. The standpoint of the hon the Minister at that time was that if one did so, one could have no argument whatsoever as to why one was going to exclude the Indians, as well as the Black people. That was the standpoint.
What about the Westminster system?
I am coming to that. The hon member for Turffontein must not tempt me into quoting to this House what he thought of the hon the Prime Minister in his time.
Another interesting point was that when the hon member for Helderkruin became so lyrical about the new era of consensus we have entered now, the hon the Leader of the Opposition put a very simple question to him in view of his argument that we are including the Indians and the Brown people in the central Government authority because we will be able to reach consensus with them easier than with the Blacks—I think that was his argument. The hon the Leader of the Opposition then asked him to advance any reason why it would be easier to reach consensus with Indians than with the Blacks in view of the fact that the Indians are a different cultural group which is completely alien to us and which is far removed from the Whites. The interesting reaction of the hon member for Helderkruin was that he did not want to be side-tracked. As regards the new dispensation, the Indian is not on a sidetrack. He is being brought into the steering cabin on the same track with the White man. During the debate last year I asked—and I want to ask again—whether hon members opposite can advance any reason under the sun why I would accept the Indian from Natal as someone who is closer to me than the Zulu from Natal or the Swazi from the Transvaal. [Interjections.] Is there any reason whatsoever for this? There is not.
The hon members say that that was in the time of the Westminster dispensation, but are we breaking away from the Westminster dispensation with the new dispensation as far as White politics are concerned? Of course we are not breaking away from it at all. As far as the White House is concerned, the Westminster dispensation is being pursued as it exists today. What I find interesting is that over the years—and we would not be honest if we want to deny this—the political division in South Africa was, to a large extent, the line drawn between Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking people. Over the years, support for the NP came predominantly from the Afrikaans-speaking people, and support for the Opposition party came from the English-speaking people. We never heard pleas then that we should break away from the Westminster system, that is was supposedly unfair towards English-speaking people and that we should reach consensus with them. What do we find now, however? Now, under the new dispensation, we are writing into our constitution that one does not have a choice. It does not matter which party will be the majority party in the Coloured House, or what its policy or standpoint will be. In terms of the new dispensation one has no choice and one has to reach consensus with it, whether it is leftist-socialist, or whatever. [Interjections.] For the first time in the history of mankind a compulsory coalition is being created in the constitution of a country. [Interjections.] It therefore does not matter which party is the majority party, or what its standpoint is. The convention will have to understand that one will be compelled to include that party, whoever it may be—it could also vary from day to day—in the Government of the day. One will then be compelled to reach this euphoric consensus, about which the hon member for Bloemfontein North was so eloquent, with that party. Moreover; the era of consensus has now dawned for South Africa and this is the solution being offered to us. It is not a constitution which carries the solution in itself, but attitudes will now be decisive. Attitudes will be determinant. [Interjections.] One does not make a constitution for angels, but for people. It is as simple as that. [Interjections.] I assume that any right-thinking and any rightist person would like consensus to be obtained between the various groups in the country, but now we are writing compulsory consensus between White, Brown and Indian into a constitution. However, this is not only being done with regard to matters that affect Whites, Brown people and Indians, but these three groups will now also have to find consensus on all matters that affect the daily lives of 10 million Black people in South Africa. We now have to find compulsory consensus with the Indian from Natal and the Brown person from Cape Town concerning the interests, desires and expectations of the Zulu from Natal and every other Black people in South Africa. [Interjections.] What are we doing? [Interjections.] To try to label us as a lot of racists … [Interjections.]
They can do so if they wish. If they want to conduct a debate at that level, they have every right to do so. They can do so if they wish. The difference between the Government and the CP …
… is Mr Eugene Terre’Blanche.
I am not going to react to the remarks of flippant people. The difference between the Government and the CP lies in how we see the ultimate future of South Africa. Because we advocate a sovereign White Parliament, which will govern over all the interests of the Whites exclusively, it is said that we are racist. Those hon members have every right to say that, but if that is racist, I apologize to them. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I wonder how the hon member for Barberton explained and defended the 1977 proposals when he conducted such a tirade against consensus politics here today. [Interjections.] The hon member speaks of compulsory consensus, but the circumstances in South Africa compel us to seek consensus with people of colour … [Interjections.] … and the success we are going to achieve in this regard is going to determine the success of this new dispensation. I shall address a few other ideas to the hon member for Barberton during the course of my speech.
It is already part of an exciting history in the political field that we obtained a two-thirds majority on 2 November 1983, and that the constitution was also passed in this House by a two-thirds majority. I just want to say a few things in view of the new plans for reform, and I also want to express a few thoughts on separate development in this regard.
By way of commencement I want to say just this: Up to and including February 1982, a section of the Opposition who are sitting opposite today were apparently very happy with this Government’s plans for reform. Since then, however, we had to discover that it was merely a feigned happiness. Since then the signing of accords and the establishment of the Volkswag conglomerate has made us realize whom we are really dealing with in those parties on the right.
These people are delving into the past. It must be a cruel experience to realize time and again in the process of delving into the past—and the hon member for Fauresmith spelt this out very clearly here—that what they came up with is something the Government has been dealing with in the process of policy making over the years, since as far back as 1948. There can therefore be no question of excitement about a policy which that party might propose. How can there be any question of excitement if they are constantly covering their tracks, since surely that is what they are doing?
For decades we have been moving forward on the path of reform. Reform is not a strange word to the NP. It is the new initiatives over the years that have made the NP the colossus it is today, and that have assisted in winning the confidence of voters. The NP came to power with the slogan of apartheid, but due to circumstances and good sense, we did not remain there, however. When we speak about these matters, in this House as well, we should not conduct sterile debates by seizing every opportunity to run as fast as we can, breathlessly, to get to a Hansard and to quote what some member or another has said about this or that. This is not what it is about. What it is in fact about is who made decisions, and where and when they were made and carried out in the interests of our country and its people. [Interjections.]
Of course, fine things have been said over the years, for example, by way of slogans and pronouncements, which we would do well to quote, and Paul Kruger gave us sound advice in this regard. Gen Hertzog’s rallying cry of “South Africa first” remains true forever; Dr Malan’s advice of “Believe in your God; believe in your people; believe in yourself” will remain fresh until the end of time. The struggle of which Mr J G Strijdom spoke, will surely continue, and surely we may not cease building up this nation, as Dr Verwoerd asked us to do. If we do all these things, and we do them without restraint, we are doing precisely what Mr Vorster asked of us. He asked that we should fulfil our calling. The exhortation of Mr P W Botha will always remain true as well, that we should take one another by the hand and move forward fearlessly, but in a spirit of faith. I maintain that the recognition of the truth and of the value of these pronouncements forms the healthy basis on which the NP has been building a better South Africa over the years. However, a great deal of building still has to be done. There will also always be a considerable amount of maintenance work, and in this regard the Opposition could play a decisive and contributory role if they want to act positively.
Since we began moving along the path of renewal in 1948, unfortunate decisions have sometimes been made and certain things have not been judged correctly. The vision of what separate development was really supposed to mean, was limited, and most people from our ranks focused exclusively on separateness. The result was that they could not do justice to the exciting and multidimensional concept and policy of separate development in the full sense of the word. For many reasons we unfortunately also assisted in building up this distorted image of separate development. For a long time it appeared as though we were not prepared to pursue the whole path of separate development, with all the consequences linked to it. However, there is ample proof now that we are in fact prepared to pursue that path. After all, we are engaged in the development of independent states, and we are giving guidance in this regard. We are in the process of uplifting people in the socio-economic sphere, inter alia, by way of regional development and deconcentration. Then there was the constitution plan of 1977, as well as the manifesto of 1981, in which we clearly set out what we are engaged in. We also passed the new constitution in this House last year—the constitution we are going to put into operation shortly.
Anyone who was asked whether we should rather have remained in 1948, would say “no”, of course. However, we would still have been there, at that level of reform, if in the interim we had not been prepared to share power in the labour sphere, if we had not been prepared to share power in the economic sphere, if we had not been prepared to share our territory, if we had not been prepared to discuss matters of common interest with other people, and if we had not also been prepared to grant political rights to people of colour. This is certainly not the kind of power the Opposition speaks of, but I shall leave it at that.
What are we aiming at? We are aiming at a system in which the White man in his privileged position will be able to take up his rightful place as the pace-setter, not at the expense of others, but for the sake of everyone who lives in this country, since the continued existence of other peoples and communities is directly linked to the chances of survival of the White man. We are therefore aiming a system in which everyone, regardless of race or colour, must be in that privileged position eventually.
It is wonderful to shout, like the hon the leader of the CP did on 10 October last year: “Ons soek ’n leefwêreld!” However, it is not only the Whites who are seeking a living space. The question is how one makes that space possible in practice. We on this side of the House are excited about the fact that we can make this a reality. Why? To answer that question, I once again use the words of the hon the leader of the CP. We are excited about the fact that we will be able to achieve this “because we are not dead on our feet, because we do not doubt and because we do not sit and criticize”. That is why our plans will succeed.
Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in speaking after the hon member for Rustenberg. However, I am sure that he will pardon me if I do not react to what he had to say. I should like to confine myself to the planning function of this department.
In many respects it is possible—particularly in the short-term, and at the local level— to consider economic and political questions independently from one another. However, if we plan overall for the country as a whole, it is essential that the interaction between the economy and politics be recognized and included in our macro planning.
In order to solve the problems that arise as a result of excessive centralization, the Government has created an overall planning framework in which decentralization is encouraged by way of regional planning. If economic, industrial, demographic, agricultural and other characteristics are distributed over the country as a whole, it appears that in so doing, geographic regions arise in which these characteristics differ sufficiently to warrant being dealt with as individual areas. It is obvious that we have to regard the economic and political factors on an interactive basis within this planning framework, the aim of which is regional development and decentralization. These regions have unique characteristics and, of course, unique needs, which, in turn, afford us the opportunity of determining development priorities within our overall planning, inter alia, by implementing and evaluating criteria such as the need for employment opportunities, standards of living, and the development potential of a region’s resources on a continuous basis.
This process of evaluation on a continuous basis is a great improvement on the procedures that were used in the past. Evaluations were made only on a cyclical basis every four or five years. This new process of continuous evaluation throughout the full spectrum of regional characteristics has not yet been fully realized, of course. However, the process is in motion, and that is important.
Of course, the initial emphasis is being placed on the industrial sector to encourage development, but in contrast with the planning of the past, which was restricted largely to industrial development, other sectors are also being given a stimulus now. As an example of this I want to refer to the considerable work that is taking place at present in our region D—Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage—with the implementation of the Rive Plan with regard to Black housing and the social upliftment of these people, with which tremendous progress is being made.
The centralized co-ordination of regional development is dealt with by the National Regional Development Advisory Council. This body, which was established in April last year, gave final substance to the Government’s policy of moving away from a centrally orientated development approach, to an approach of decentralized regional development. There are many other projects that are being worked on at present with regard to the promotion of regional development. Examples of this are the upgrading of labour, the potential of our water resources, physical conservation, the promotion of tourism and, very important, the adaptation of industrial concessions. This approach does not only have implications for our domestic planning, however. By nature this approach is also suitable for extension to outside our country’s borders so that the whole of the Southern African continent can be dealt with and developed on a planned basis. By this recognition is being given to the high degree of economic interdependence of the various political intities on the subcontinent and the fact that the full potential of this area can only be exploited if political and administrative boundaries are not permitted to cause disruption. Various speakers have referred to this during the course of this debate, and have also indicated what dramatic progress has already been made in this regard.
I should now like to illustrate further implications of the new initiatives in regional development with specific reference to my region, viz Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage, a section of region D. The various regions already have the opportunity to participate directly in their own planning through the advisory committee by way of advice. However, with the establishment of the national advisory council, the various regions have the opportunity to advise at the highest level. The advice from the various regions is evaluated in the national context and set down in order of priority. The regions are given the opportunity to make an input with regard to country-wide umbrella planning which, if dealt with correctly, could lead to tremendous benefits for the region concerned. However, I want to issue a warning that if excessive, thoughtless and short-sighted concessions are requested for a particular region, it could be counter-productive for that region. Precisely because these inputs are evaluated in the national context, thereby being given priority, it is essential that they should be well-thought-out and responsible. Needs which are overemphasized could lead to the underestimation of true needs if they are compared to the inputs of other regions at a national level. Allow me, Mr Chairman, to refer in this regard to pronouncements made by certain prominant people from our region. It is well-known how derogatorily the mayor of Port Elizabeth reacted, and what excessive language he used—and as far as that is concerned, he was merely associating himself with others, inter alia, businessmen—who claimed that Port Elizabeth “is slipping into Algoa Bay”. Now I see that the PFP member of the provincial council for Port Elizabeth Central is also trying to climb onto this bandwagon by making the same kind of excessive pronouncements and incorrect statements. The Opposition Press has not kept out of this either, but has eagerly seized these negative pronouncements and blazoned them abroad even further. Let me just present one example to hon members, viz an article in the Weekend Business Post under the headline “Port Elizabeth in dire straits over Government moves”. The report reads:
This kind of public pronouncement serves no purpose except that it contains a great deal of negative publicity. In reality, it does incalculable harm to the image of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. This region’s well-known problems are continually being pushed to the fore and harped on in an attempt to obtain further concessions, whilst other regions with similar problems sensibly rather emphasize their positive attributes. The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central is unfortunately not here at present. He, too, fell into the same trap by supporting the pronouncement by the mayor of Port Elizabeth. He went further and said in his speech last week that Cape Town had the advantage of a “deconcentration point from which it can expect a spin-off, namely Atlantis”. On what grounds will Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth not also benefit from the development and prosperity of the East London area? It is much better for our region to emphasize and advertise its positive aspects. Industrial land is freely available, industrialists are positively attuned to improving the working conditions of their workers; their is sufficient labour; a fine airport; two universities; sufficient water and a great deal of tourist potential. These are assets which we can really work at.
Let me refer to another example relating to this. The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central and I campaigned for the expansion of the Addo Elephant Park, and the hon the Minister made an important pronouncement a few days ago by acceding to our request. This was important news in our part of the world. Here we had a project which not only contained benefits for regional development, but which promoted a national conservation strategy because the Kruger National Park is already being utilized to the maximum, and I think it would have been for better if the Opposition Press had supported this movement. No one is trying to question or diminish the right of business leaders to point out problems. However, complaints must be articulated in such a way that our cause is not prejudiced, but furthered. [Time expired.]
Mr chairman, I want to react to one remark the hon member for Uitenhage made, and that is his contention that political differences should not have a disruptive effect on the co-operation between various countries when it comes to economic development. We all accept the basic maxim that Dr Verwoerd came up with in London, ie economic interdependence, but political independence. Where one has co-operation at a specific level, however, or as far as a specific project is concerned, geographically that project continues to remain within the area of jurisdiction of a specific country, and over that area the authorities of that country continue to have final jurisdiction. One can have political differences and conflicting claims within the limits of such a project, but then the final, decisive pronouncement still tests with the rightful authorities of that country. I think that as far as that is concerned the hon member will agree with me.
The hon member for Rustenburg said various things. For a change he did at least, I think, quote me in such a way as to have done justice to the spirit of the speech I made.
I want to come back to one single matter, and that is the question of linking the CP to people who are conservative, right-wing and sometimes even very strongly right-wing.
So beautifully right-wing.
Yes, and there are some who are, as far as the NP is concerned, beautifully left-wing, who are actually objectionably left-wing, but whom the NP accommodates and who give the NP the image of being leftist liberals.
Who, for example?
Willem de Klerk, for example, a man who says: “Come hell or high water, away with apartheid this year”, a radical who says we must get shot of it; we must simply integrate. The NP gives him protection, and not only protection, for he is also one of the NP’s information officers [Interjections.]
In the Senate Chamber, on the occasion of the debate in the Standing Committee on the National Education Vote, I put my standpoint, and did so in strong terms: This party dissociates itself from any hostile militancy in the political sphere or in the cultural activities of our country.
Why have you never said it before?
The hon member should do himself a favour and listen. He is an elder in my church, and I would like to have discussions with both him and his church about allegations he made against me in this House, because that would be the appropriate terrain for the discussion of the subject. [Interjections.]
Why is the hon member for Krugersdorp getting so excited? This party is always being linked to all manner of bodies. I have gone as far as saying we do not accept Fascism or National Socialism or anything of that kind; did hon members want it said more clearly than that? Since those hon members are now associating certain people with other people who have certain standpoints, they should do themselves a favour and read the book by Mr Jan van Rooyen on our hon Prime Minister. They would do well to go and read about his connections with the Ossewabrandwag when that organization, according to this book, was a semi-military movement …
Without revolvers? The hon member for Brits should go and do a little research.
Amongst the people who started that movement there was Dr T E Dönges, Mr Frans Erasmus, Mr John Vorster, his brother Dr Koot Voster and Mr P W Botha. The hon the Prime Minister was a member of the executive.
What did he subsequently do?
I acknowledge that the hon member Mr Van Staden is quite right. He should, however, listen to this:
I think that was a fine turn of phrase in those days. The biographer also says:
On the next page there is the name of the leader of the organization—Dr Hans van Rensburg. I quote:
I acknowledge that the hon member Mr Van Staden is quite right, and I give the hon the Prime Minister credit for the fact that he dissociated himself, but four of the reasons he gives for having dissociated himself did not involve National Socialism, but rather the clash between the OB and the NP command structure, the question of who should supply the leadership. In dissociating himself, the hon the Prime Minister wrote a fine letter. He dissociated himself at a stage when the leader of that organization was an acknowledged Hitler supporter and when he himself was a member of the OB executive.
Now I just want to say: Leave it to the CP and the conservatives to sort out who it is who will be travelling the road with us! We shall sort it out. [Interjections.]
Hon members are so fond of starting up little conversations, and I want to ask them a question and refer to what an editor who supports the NP, who writes under the NP banner, said. He wrote about how the “pebble had almost been dropped.” He said that a White South Africa was just an optical illusion and that one should rather deal with reality. He went on to state:
That is a person who writes under the banner, under the auspices, of the NP. He is an NP supporter.
There is someone else in the same ranks who conducted an interview with Dr Motlana. He wrote that he had accepted Dr Motlana’s assurance when the latter said that he gaye his word that under a Black Government the White man had nothing to fear. That is the NP fraternity, and the writers who support it, who say that. The individual was Mr At Viljoen. He said that he personally would have no fear about abandoning himself to Dr Motlana’s goodwill. If we are now looking for company, that is the company the NP keeps. If the NP does not want them, it must not gauge by double standards.
I should now like to address a few words to the hon the Minister. Yesterday the hon the Minister levelled some very venomous criticism. He thought fit to refer back to the 1976 riots. At that stage I was Deputy Minister, and I remember that at the time there was a great deal of debate about that in the House. There was a report published, by Mr Justice Cillié, on those riots.
I now want to say frankly that in that report of Mr Justice Cillié there was not a single finger pointed at the Deputy Minister to indicate that he was in any way to blame for those riots. There was talk of schools being burned down. A school was burned down because a pupil had been suspended. Somewhere else a school was destroyed because the pupils did not like the principal. At the Stofberg Memorial School there were earlier riots because there were beans on the menu at one of the meals! The policy at the time was to use Afrikaans and English on a 50:50 basis, but so many exceptions were made that this was not actually applied in practice. [Interjections.]
By the way, the hon member for Stilfontein is one of the people who requested my “hunger diet” for his voters in Stilfontein.!
What was the judge’s finding? His finding was that the inability of the police to have foreseen the impending danger in Soweto prior to 16 June, and to have taken countermeasures, was one of the contributing factors in causing the unrest. In paragraph 3.1.2 on page 104 of the report it is stated:
Let me tell the hon the Minister that he cast an unworthy reflection devoid of substance! [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to clear up a few points with the hon member for Waterberg. I also had the privilege, when we were discussing the National Education Vote, of speaking after he had spoken. I asked the hon member who had betrayed him, and today I again asked the hon member for Waterberg: Who are the traitors? That day I asked the same question of the hon member and said that he was double-tongued.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it permissible, when the hon member Dr Welgemoed asks who the traitors were to whom the hon member for Waterberg referred, for the hon member for Barberton to say: “Go and look in the mirror”, as if the hon member Dr Welgemoed is the traitor?
Order! If the hon member for Barberton said that, he must withdraw it.
I withdraw it, Sir.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the hon member Dr Welgemoed to allege that the hon member for Waterberg is double-tongued?
That is not unparliamentary. The hon member Dr Welgemoed may proceed.
The hon member for Waterberg is double-tongued. That was the case at Ellis Park and in the Skilpadsaal. I am making the allegation, and as long as the hon member does not say who the traitors are to whom he referred …
Mr Chairman, I request your guidance: Does the expression “being double-tongued” not mean the same as “speaking with a forked tongue?” [Interjections.]
Order! It is not an unparliamentary expression.
I thank you for your guidance, Sir.
We are trying to find out who the traitors are to whom the hon member referred. Time and again the hon member has this kind of discussion, and when we subsequently ask him questions about it, other hon members in his party come to his defence. He himself never replies. In that way he goes on with his double-tongued talk.
On the one hand, the hon member for Waterberg condemns the AWB and the Kappiekommando, alleging that he dissociates himself from Fascism, whilst in the Skilpadsaal he opened wide his arms to the Kappiekommando and to other people who are proponents of Hitlerism in this country. The hon member spoke of Hitler supporters, but I think there are again a whole lot of Hitler supporters in this country. Just look at where they are sitting in this House.
Order! The hon member must withdraw that. It is unparliamentary.
I withdraw it, Sir.
The hon the Minister will deal further with his questions, and simply deal with the hon member, too, in regard to the questions he put.
I want to devote my speech today to the multilateral council of Ministers. There is a great deal of talk here about homelands. The Conservative Party wants to create homelands for everyone, for example Orania, Hexania and who knows what. The message those hon members delivered over the past three days …
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it permissible for the hon member for Langlaagte to use a communist slogan here in the House?
Order! What expression did the hon member for Langlaagte use?
I said “Amandla!”
Order! That is not unparliamentary. The hon member Dr Welgemoed may proceed.
I am now confused, because if it is not the Hitler salute, it is “Amandla!”. When the next hon member of the Conservative Party is given a chance to speak, he must tell us on what side they really are. Is the hon member for Langlaagte perhaps on the verligte side of the Conservative Party? [Interjections.]
What bothers me about the Conservative Party’s standpoint on homelands is that they want to create homelands for everyone, but in proclaiming this they make use of a crude message. They do not want to co-operate. They do not want to have regional development. They do, however, according to their own lights, want to establish homelands in Southern Africa for each ethnic group. I am accusing the Conservative Party of a policy of intolerance towards those people in the homeland they want to create. The hon member for Waterberg must tell me if I am wrong. Yesterday the hon member for Lichtenburg objected here, with terrible vehemence, to the financial assistance given by this Government to the independent and self-governing Black states of Southern Africa. That is why I am accusing them of delivering a crude message, and I expect the South African electorate and the various population groups of South Africa to take note of the message hon members of the CP are conveying, proclaiming it in Potgietersrus and Rosettenville, where elections are in progress, ie “We want homelands for everyone, for once everyone has his homeland, it is every man for himself”. [Interjections.]
Now I want to turn to the Multilateral Development Council of Ministers. Since the hon the Minister is chairman of the South African delegation, I want to wish him luck in the negotiations between South Africa and the other countries involved, for example Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. This is also shortened to the SATBVC countries. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether he cannot find a new name for these countries participating in these multilateral negotiations, because with our “SATBVC” it seems as if we are rewriting the alphabet. One of these days there is going to be another letter added.
I agree. I do not understand it any more either.
I am glad the hon the Minister says he does not understand it any more either. I want to ask the hon the Minister, whom I regard as a brilliant individual, to think up a name for us that we can use when referring to these countries in future.
In the political sphere a great deal has happened in this context, and I do not think that in recent times the multilateral council has received the kind of attention it ought to be receiving. I am not blaming anyone, nor am I accusing anyone in this connection, because we have experienced great moments such as the referendum and the Nkomati and other peace initiatives which have been successfully concluded. I do think, however, that we shall have to give more attention to the Multilateral Development Council of Ministers and what it is doing, because this also directly affects our neighbours. The economic and technical co-operation is something I personally find very important, because it will bridge the gap between the First World and Third World elements in Southern Africa. I have great hopes that this multilateral council will be one of the instruments for narrowing this gap to a large extent in the future.
In Africa, 10 years ago, countries south of the Sahara had debt to the tune of $9 900 million. This debt has grown to $70 000 million. The rest of Africa can get bogged down in it, but I want to ask that Southern Africa, with the present development and co-operation here, should not participate in a process that I think the CP advocates, because if we adopt their policy advocating no co-operation whatsoever in Southern Africa, we shall also reach the stage here of having countries that incur debt. This participation to develop the optimum potential of the region, without the autonomy of participating states being encroached upon, is what I regard as another example of this Government’s desire to promote prosperity and security in Southern Africa. Not only the successful negotiation of an Nkomati Accord of Swaziland Agreement, but an approach such as this which also contributes largely to prosperity. I want to thank the hon the Minister and his department for their selfless zeal in co-operating on this. They are not always on television or in the limelight, like the Voortrekker leader who happens to be a controversial individual, but they do work that is ten times better than what he does. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member Dr Welgemoed will forgive me if I do not react directly to the aspects which he raised here and particularly to the “broedertwis” between the CP and the NP. I do want to agree with the representations made by the hon member with regard to the development of Southern Africa, of Africa south of the Equator. This party has stated repeatedly that we advocate the important principle of a federation or a constellation of the states of Southern Africa, on an economic basis.
†I should like to turn my attention now to that aspect of the hon the Minister’s portfolio which relates to planning. We had our opportunity yesterday to talk about the constitution which, of course, is an absolutely vital aspect of the evolutionary development in South Africa. Hon members and the hon the Minister himself will agree with me that the constitution itself is insufficient to guarantee stability and progress in South Africa. It is merely the framework, as the hon the Minister himself is on record as having said, within which we are going to have to try to improve the quality of life of all South African citizens. The hon the Minister himself said yesterday that the expectations and aspirations of all population groups are greater than what the resources of the country can support. That is a very profound statement because there is going to be considerable conflict in the determination of priorities and the allocation of resources to the different population groups as they become more involved in the decision-making process. I should like to say to the hon the Minister that I believe that the beginning of the sharing process is going to be one of the most testing and trying periods in the political life of South Africa. We are going to have to exercise considerable constraint and patience when we come to deliberations.
We are encouraged by the attitude which the hon the Minister displayed yesterday in response to, I think, the hon the Leader of the Opposition when he said that the budget in the new constitution will in fact be given an input, if not guidelines, by the Standing Committee on Finance. Here lies the nub of the participating potential of Coloureds and Indians in the new constitution. If they perceive that they are not receiving a fair share of the decision-making process, let alone the actual assets, on how resources are to be allocated, then we are going to head in the wrong direction. This party is very clearly to be found for the principle that the Standing Committee on Finances should play a very important role in the determination of guidelines for the budget for the new three chamber Parliament. All parties, the majority party of each house, should certainly be involved in that decision-making.
I want to go further. If one reads literature, in particular newspaper articles written about the average Coloured and Indian voter in South Africa it is obvious that his expectation of the new constitution is not only that he will have a political say, but also that the quality of his life will improve. Here I believe it is vital that we reassess our financial contribution to scientific research in South Africa. Only by proper scientific research will we be able to determine correctly the priorities for the implementation of plans in South Africa which will contribute towards the maximization of the increase in the potential of the quality of life of all South Africans. The average man in Mitchell’s Plain or Chatsworth in Durban in going to assess the success of the new constitution in terms of his life opportunities and how the quality of his life improves.
I note from the hon the Minister’s departmental report that considerable attention has been given to scientific planning in South Africa. We welcome those steps.
There is also a relation with the Central Economic Advisory Service.
Certainly, very much so. There is a very strong link which exists between those two parts of the portfolio. We support wholeheartedly the formula which the hon the Minister’s Department is unsing at the moment for the allocation of resources for scientific aid. The hon the Minister, on page 20 of the report, has shown us how the formula is applied, and from that they have determined that mining, metal industries, construction, transportation and communication will enjoy top priority research, as well as certain subsidiary aspects.
There are two aspects of primary concern to me. The first one is that the percentage of the fiscus allocated to scientific research is below the requirements of a normal Western industrialized nation. We are presently allocating, as a percentage of Government budget, 1,28% of our budget to scientific research. It is common knowledge that in Western countries a minimum of 3% of the GDP should be allocated to scientific research. As a percentage of the GDP 1,28% as a percentage of Government expenditure is well below a third of what we should be allocating. I believe it should become top priority in our fiscal planning to ensure that a greater percentage of our resources are applied to scientific research. The Coloureds and Indians themselves will now become a greater part of that research aspect. My appeal is that we should pay more attention and give more fiscal support to scientific research than we are at the moment.
The second aspect is—and I had a question on the Order Paper last year regarding this aspect—that I believe that South African scientists are totally underpaid. I know there has been an appreciable hike in the increases which they get each year but they start off with a disadvantage. Until two years ago, I served for a number of years on the controlling board of a scientific organization in South Africa, and from my personal knowledge the scientists on average were receiving a 6% per annum salary increase simply because we could not get a greater parliamentary grant. That was the position in a period of five years that I was involved with that organization. If one starts from a very low base and over the period the inflation rate averages at 12%, then an increase of 6% is totally inadequate. We are increasingly losing people from organizations which are doing fundamental research not only to private enterprise; we are actually losing them for the research function as such as well. I have personal knowledge of a number of scientists who are brilliant in their field and who have subsequently gone into private industry in order to obtain the things that make life really tick, that is the money and the perks, by making themselves available for managerial capacities. I should like to ask the hon the Minister what happened to the report which the Dr Burgers’s Committee was supposed to produce a few years ago. I know Dr Burger had subsequently left but what has happened to the work which he did?
I see at the bottom of page 31 of the report that the hon the Minister’s department anticipate changing certain laws to facilitate improvement in conditions of service by standardization. As desirable as that may be, we still have to look at the level of remuneration for scientists in South Africa because without scientists there will be no scientific research.
Let me say to the hon the Minister that our view is that, as in the food-chain of life which starts with the small little plankton which comes up from the Antarctic and subsequently enters the food-chain of the whole of Africa, so scientific research is the spearhead in the chain of events and performances which will ultimately affect the quality of life of every citizen in South Africa. That is why we believe it is so important that scientific research should be given a greater priority, and I should like the hon the Minister and his department to do everything possible to see that a greater effort is made in order to bring about more scientific research.
In the same vein I want to say that I believe that the publication of the SA Journal of Science is a major step towards making people more aware, in particular politicians in this House, of the need for research and the need for scientific information.
In conclusion, may I just say that there are many aspects of planning that one can deal with under the hon the Minister’s Vote but what is of paramount importance is that this function which the hon the Minister’s department has at the moment, should remain a top priority function. We wish his department well in the future in expanding the function.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Durban North gave a very good exposition of the standpoints of his party as far as certain planning aspects are concerned. I am glad to hear that they are prepared, in this connection, to make a contribution to the constitutional development of South Africa. We are grateful for the support from their quarter since they lost Pine-town.
On the strength of the announcement the hon the Minister made on Wednesday, let me tell him that we eagerly look forward to 3 September as the beginning of sharing in a new South Africa, and we on this side of the House tell him to go ahead. Now towards the end of the debate it is very clear to us that on the Opposition side, particularly in the CP, there are hon members that do not fit in with the dynamic trend of thought of the hon the Minister and his team, but we assure him that we will stand by him.
The nation has already agreed to the acceptability of the future guidelines laid down by his hon Minister. The Whites have overwhelmingly voted in favour of those guidelines. The Asians and the Coloureds have said they are prepared to debate the two new Chambers proposed for them in future. I therefore find it senseless for us to take up this Committee’s time trying to reply incessantly to the hackneyed arguments of hon members of the CP. Those are arguments or standpoints which even large numbers of their own voters rejected during the recent referendum. The Whites have already made it apparent that the constitutional development must be based on peaceful co-existence. That is why we on this side of the House must join the hon the Minister and his team in giving attention to the planning aspects and that is why I am now going to ignore the Opposition.
There are certain planning aspects which I should like to bring to the hon the Minister’s attention. The first involves a matter which is dear to my heart. The matter I want to broach involves the physical replanning of the East Rand with the object of more closely involving the gold mining industry in the upliftment, employment and housing of the local Black and Coloured people of that region. Of the many thousands of Black and Coloured people who live there and who are born there, only a small percentage are involved in the mining industry. I doubt whether 1% of the Coloureds in that area are involved in the mining industry. I also doubt whether even 3% of the Black people who live there and were born there are involved in the mining industry. I find it a pity that some of the largest employers in that region ignore those people, even though they could make such a tremendous contribution to the development of that region.
Orderly constitutional development cannot take place without the orderly development of a State’s communities. The orderly development of communities rests on the creation of job opportunities, the provision of family accommodation and the meaningful planning of the world in which such a community lives. That is why I believe that this Department must give attention to antiquated mining legislation inhibiting the meaningful social replanning on the East Rand. I want to add that counteracting social degeneration and the combating of crime in our metropoles, where such a tremendous population explosion is taking place, is only possible if unemployment in those areas is combated now and in the future.
Local employers can help to restrict the population growth in the area by giving preference to local labour rather than immigrant labour. Thus they would, in my opinion, be making a contribution to the social upliftment of the region in which they are operating. Some gold-mining groups throughout the country are already giving attention to the employment of more citizens of the Republic of South Africa and citizens of the TBVC countries, thereby helping us to bring more prosperity to the Coloured and Black communities.
There are, alas, mining companies in the heart of the Witwatersrand that stubbornly refuse to employ the Black people and Coloureds in that region. More than 60% of the workers of some of those mines are recruited from beyond the borders of the Republic, and unfortunately antiquated legislation permits those people to be accommodated in hostels, with new hostels even being erected. People can build new hostels where they want to, as long as it is on mining ground. This inhibits meaningful planning within the context of the Group Areas Act. It is an acknowledged fact that during the ’thirties the gold-mines proved the salvation of so many Whites. It was the gold-mines which, at the time, provided opportunities and accommodation for many thousands of Whites, thereby preventing the social decline of that group. I am of the opinion that some mining groups do not, in this connection, do their share, that they largely import labour into those areas because it is financially beneficial for them to do so.
Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.
Mr. Chairman, before business was suspended for lunch I was putting forward certain standpoints in regard to the contribution that I think mining in South Africa can make to the social development of the areas in which the mines are operating. I referred to the East Rand, but I think my standpoints apply to all the large cities and towns where the mining industry is operating.
It is the gold-mines which, in the ’thirties, created opportunities for our people, and I am of the opinion that this was not only possible for the Whites, but could now also be done for all people involved in the mining industry. If these conditions were to continue, without our Planning Department giving attention to the matter, I think it is going to be more difficult, in the years ahead, to combat this, to break away from it, because in my view the mines are continually going to use the argument that this is a capital outlay on their part which it would consequently be difficult for them to relinquish. I therefore think that one should take a serious look at the role that antiquated mining legislation plays in the physical and social planning of the areas I have referred to.
To import labour to those metropolitan areas where the natural population growth of that community can provide for the manpower needs and make good the shortages is, in my view, a short-sighted policy that merely benefits the mining industry and is not in the interests of the country. I therefore want to appeal to the hon the Minister to have his Department of Planning give attention to these matters in future.
A second matter that I should like to bring to the hon the Minister’s attention is one which I previously broached in the discussion of the vote of the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs and which I think is possibly a matter belonging more to this department. It is a matter involving co-ordinated services to local authorities.
In this year’s Escom report mention is made of the fact that about 75 000 of the consumers of the Western Cape are going to be assigned to certain local authorities in the Western Cape, local authorities such as Brackenfell, Bellville, Goodwood, Durbanville, Kuils River, Kraaifontein and Parow. In certain instances similar negotiations are also taking place in Natal.
Although one agrees that the retail sale of power is a municipal matter rather than one involving Escom, I do think there is some merit in such authorities co-operating, particularly in regard to the design, planning, purchase and maintenance of the equipment and the network of such municipalities. This would mean that eventually the municipalities only handle the sale of power. If one could therefore, in this region which is a new region in the campaign that must take place at Escom, convince the municipalities to perhaps initiate the co-ordinating council’s functions in regard to the joint use of power, I think they would be carrying out an experiment for us that could perhaps strengthen the hon the Minister’s hand at a later stage.
I would therefore like to point out to the hon the Minister that here in his area there is perhaps an opportunity to get this off the ground and prove that the co-ordinating councils have a function to perform and that they can work. If it must take place here, one of the larger municipalities, from the list to which I referred, can act as an agent for the others. I think they would all benefit, the region and eventually, I believe, the country too. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I am not rising to reply to the debate now. I am merely rising to congratulate the hon the Prime Minister on the fact that tomorrow he will have been a member of the House for 36 years. [Interjections.] We want to congratulate him, not only on a special historical achievement, but also on the fact that in 26 of the 36 years he has served the country in some or other executive capacity and has done so with great excellence and distinction. We want to tell him, on the eve of his departure overseas to take up the cudgels for South Africa there as well, that thoughts and prayers of the whole House go with him. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on behalf of the PFP I also wish to congratulate the hon the Prime Minister on his achievement and to wish him well on the road ahead.
In the early 1960s when I was still mesmerized by Dr Verwoerd, I understood the planning of the NP. It then had a physical, economic and social planning strategy that underscored the whole political philosophy of apartheid. We now have a constitution that still provides for political apartheid between Black and non-Black, as well as increased apartheid in terms of certain own affairs such as agriculture and water affairs where there never was apartheid before. We also now have an economic, social and physical policy of integration. The CP tells the Government to remove this anomaly by reintroducing the social, economic and physical policies of apartheid, and the PFP tells the Government that because that is not possible, the Government must drop the philosophy of political apartheid. I imagine that that political dilemma is going to be with the NP as long as they stick to the political philosophy of apartheid.
This department has overall economic planning as one of its functions, and I think therefore that it is appropriate that in the final analysis this hon Minister should receive praise for the success or carry the blame for the failure of the economy as a whole. It is no secret that the ability of an economy as a whole to meet the material aspirations of the population has a great deal to do with stability and peace, and I want to point briefly to some areas of concern as far as overall planning is concerned.
The first of these is the Government’s apparent inability to budget properly and to adhere to it. In this regard I want to mention just two consequences that we can ill afford at this stage. Firstly, the ability of the private sector to plan becomes totally impossible. Confidence is shaken as a result of which there is a loss in regard to the creation of job opportunities and so forth. Secondly, industrial peace is threatened, and the instruments provided by the Department of Manpower to order labour relations are undermined. A good example of this was the recent unrest in the clothing industry here in Cape Town.
The second area of concern is the Government’s rediscovery of free enterprise and its interpretation of this concept. Various departments are given powers to enter the money markets and to finance projects, thus undercutting capital priority determination which is a further function of this Ministry. This should be done on a budget basis. If, for instance, the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs needs to build roads, he should stand in line for his allocation as determined by the financial constraints that the hon the Minister of Finance wishes to apply. If he can build roads over and above this allocation, for example, by means of loans and the repayment of those loans by means of revenue accruing from toll roads, the real expenditure by the public sector will never be predetermined and so we will never know where we are. The Government appears to think that by giving Government departments access to private sector money it has created some form of perpetual motion in terms of economic development. However, the only perpetual motion that I can see is the upward movement of inflation and the downward movement of the ability of the private sector to create jobs and to compete on world markets.
Another problem area is the decentralization programme. The White Paper on job creation states very clearly:
That is what it says. However, these are simply clichés and jargon as far as the Government is concerned because the decentralization benefits attempt to do exactly the opposite, namely to distort the production factors in regard to transport levies and all the other ways in which those production factors are distorted. In the section on social planning one reads about a population development programme. Perhaps a better solution would have been a population curtailment programme, but be that as it may. I should like the hon the Minister to explain to us just what this population development programme is and what for example “the population development programme of the private sector” means. Under social planning and with regard to the community development programme, I am glad to see that the first joint of this strategy is the promotion of community involvement according to their own norms. As always, the phrase “in regional context” is also slipped in here. I hope the hon the Minister can convey this to the hon the Minister of Community Development so that he can stop imposing his norms when he plans, for example, the development of Cato Manor. I am not so sure that I should congratulate the hon the Minister on the first success of his so-called comprehensive programme for the enrichment of family life, or can he perhaps assure me that the Afrikanervolkswag was not the first project in the programme?
Finally, with regard to physical planning. I note with great concern that no mention is yet made of a guide plan for the Durban/Pietermaritzburg/Pinetown area. I suggest that this should receive urgent attention, and that it also includes the surrounding areas of kwaZulu. The hon Minister, earlier today, quoted figures in respect of Black urbanization and I want to warn him that those figures for Natal gave quite a distorted picture. Firstly, most heads of households are already in urban areas. It is estimated that in the heartland of kwaZulu up to 85% of the men between 20 and 55 years are just not there. These areas are merely the maternity wards, the crèches and the old-age homes of the townships around the White cities. Secondly, the uncurtailed movement of the people from the heartland of kwaZulu to Durban and Pietermaritzburg is reflected in these statistics as if they are rural people. They may not be there statistically speaking, but are in fact living in totally unplanned urban sprawls along the municipal boundaries of White towns and cities. This makes any further expansion very difficult. It is not use drawing artificial boundaries with a sharp pencil for the purposes of statistics and remove Umlazi, Inanda and Lamontville from White Natal, because the people remain exactly where they are. I suggest that if there should be decentralization benefits in this area, it should apply to every single municipality from Pinetown right through to Grey-town. Furthermore, the Government should welcome and not prohibit enterprises which want to establish themselves within five kilometres of the border with kwaZulu. Anybody who knows that area can tell you that if you want to find kwaZulu on a map, you must just look for the black patches. Those black patches are where the contours are so close together that infrastructural development on the kwaZulu side is virtually impossible. However, that is where the people are and when you look anywhere along the Umgeni Valley from Durban to Pietermaritzburg you will see people congregating on the edges of White Natal. They need to be looked after.
Mr Chairman, unfortunately I do not have the time to elaborate on what the hon member for Greytown said. Perhaps I do not feel very much like doing so either. He referred in passing to labour unrest. In this connection I just want to tell him and his party that since they are aware of this, they should rather make a contribution towards calming people down than stirring them up.
The hon the Minister congratulated the hon the Prime Minister on the celebration of his 36 years of Parliamentary service tomorrow and I, as a backbencher, should also like to convey our sincere congratulations and best wishes to the hon the Prime Minister on the tour he is going to undertake next week.
I want to refer briefly to the planning aspect and task of the department. This is an important facet of the department’s activities. I also want to refer to the earlier debate on the constitutional proposals. The arguments of the Conservative Party with regard to the principles and provisions contained in the new constitution are now becoming tedious. Whether the CP likes the provisions or rejects them will make no difference. Whether or not hon members reject the principles contained in these measures, this matter has already been dealt with and has been confirmed by the voters. The persistent nagging of some hon members is not only tedious; it is also irritating. The hon members must now accept the new constitutional dispensation as a foregone conclusion and live with it. They will not achieve anything by continuing to complain and scurry about. This is becoming monotonous. [Interjections.]
I want to refer in particular to the value of guide plans. A guide plan has important advantages for the area for which it is drawn up. The Free State goldfields area is pre-eminently a region which could benefit by a guide plan. A guide plan lays down guide-fines for further balanced development and creates greater stability for developers and investors owing to the statutory authority of the plan. As such, it can prevent injudicious or capricious abnormal development.
Another advantage of a guide plan lies in the way in which it is drawn up, because local people and bodies are involved in it. This creates a vision for the future for the area and there is an awareness of the potential and the problems. The goldfields area of the Orange Free State, at the heart of which lies the city of Welkom, is important to this central province which according to the planning aspect is known as Region C of the National Physical Development Plan.
A few particulars on the goldfields region will give an indication of the magnitude of the economic stimulus and contribution which it can make to the central part of the country, a part which is mainly a rural and agricultural area. The importance of the gold production of the 13 mines in the area is well known. There is also a fairly large concentration of people in the area. The White population in the few towns totals 80 000. There are also 280 000 Blacks, according to the 1980 census. The 1984 figures of the Chamber of Mines indicate that 152 000 Blacks are involved in the mining industry. There are also approximately 7 000 Coloureds in the area.
This region has a good basic infrastructure. Additional secondary industrial development will further stabilize the existing vigorous economic structure of the area. In this connection I just want to mention that another hon member referred to the fact that water from the Allemanskraal Dam was also utilized for this area at a time when there were water problems, and that the hon Minister concerned had given the assurance that this would not happen again. Since this area is dependent on the Vaal River Scheme, it is also true that the PWV area would seem to receive preference as far as the use of this water is concerned. It would therefore be advisable to consider diverting water from the Caledon River to the Erfenis and Allemanskraal Dams. I merely mentioned this in passing.
The goldfields region should be seen as a future metropolitan area in which the towns can eventually make use of combined services to a greater extent. For greater economic efficiency it would be preferable not to restrict this to the White local authorities. The various towns situated in that area would of course be able to make use of combined services, which would lead to greater efficiency. Welkom, as the central city, can, for obvious reasons, make a valuable contribution to the development of this area.
This matter was also raised during the discussion of the hon the Minister’s Vote last year, and today I should like to take this opportunity to thank the hon the Minister for his intercession in this connection since the department has already done the necessary preparatory work in drawing up a guide plan for this area. As I have pointed out this will for obvious reasons have particular benefits for this area. This area is situated in the central part of the country, or in Region C of the National Physical Development Plan, and for that reason it is important that balanced development should also take place here.
I think that this guide plan could also make a major contribution towards indicating guidelines in respect of services rendered there by the central Government and the provincial authorities, because this would be conductive to the judicious development and provision of services there. I want to give the hon the Minister the assurance that people and bodies in that area would very much like to co-operate in this connection. They have taken grateful cognizance of the drawing up of the guide plan. I believe that this will eventually be to the benefit of the balanced development which the planning division of this department is in fact endeavouring to bring about. I know this is a comprehensive task which cannot be completed overnight, but in conclusion I want to say that I would be extremely grateful if it could be speeded up, so that it could be completed within a reasonable period of time, with the resultant benefits that it could ential for that area. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon the Prime Minister is not present in the House now, but we in the CP want to tell him that since he will soon be going abroad in his capacity as Prime Minister of South Africa, our very best wishes accompany him, and that we trust his visit will bear fruit for South Africa.
Secondly, I should like to turn to the hon the leader of the CP, someone on whom very snide attacks are sometimes made in this House, of which the hon member for Turffontein is the main exponent. I want to ask the hon the leader of the CP not to pay any attention to the hon member for Turffontein. I should like to quote what that hon member had to say about his former friends. I should like to quote from Die Vaderland of 19 September 1975 concerning what he had to say about Mr Marais Steyn.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Does what the hon member is speaking about now have any bearing on the subject before the Committee?
I shall listen to what the hon member has to say. He may proceed.
Sir, the hon member for Turffontein, as well as the hon the Minister, made personal attacks on my hon leader, and I surely have the right to take up the cudgels for him. I want to tell the hon the leader that he need not worry. I quote from Die Vaderland:
That is what the hon member for Turffontein said about Mr Marais Steyn.
I did not say that.
It appears in the hon member’s own newspaper. I should also like to quote what he had to say about the present hon Prime Minister. He said:
That Minister to whom he was referring is the present hon Prime Minister.
What is the date of that quotation?
13 April 1972. [Interjections.] The hon the leader of the CP need therefore not feel bad, since if the hon member for Turffontein could say that about his political father, Mr Marais Steyn, and about the present hon Prime Minister, then we need not pay any attention to him. That is his style. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Caledon, as well as other hon members on that side, often attack the CP about the AWB, the Kappiekommando and all kinds of other things. I should like to quote from the book P W Botha 40 Jaar. The following appears on page 44:
Those were the words of the hon the Prime Minister. It goes on to say:
That was the hon the Prime Minister. He was a member of an organization of which the leader was a supporter of Hitler.
The hon member for Middelburg was an ardent Stormjaer. The beard of the hon member for Rosettenville was shaved off with a piece of glass from a broken bottle by the jingoes of that time. The hon member Mr Van Staden said that he was a member of the Ossewabrandwag, as was the hon member Prof Olivier of the PFP. A former judge, Mr Justice Kowie Marais, was a general in the Ossewabrandwag. There is therefore even a former OB general in the PFP. [Interjections.] The former United Party jingoes of that time, before 1948, referred to the NP as the “Malan Nazis”. Today the NP, like the former members of the United Party of that time, is referring to the conservative nationalists of South Africa as nazis. The same thing is going to happen to the NP as happened to the former UP on 26 May 1948.
One of Gen Smuts’ advisers told him at one stage that he should not be concerned, since the Afrikaners were divided, since they belonged to the OB, to the Grey Shirts, the New Order, the Afrikaner Party and the National Party. Gen Smuts then replied that the Afrikaners may be divided, but all those groups were striving for the establishment of a Republic. Conservative people in South Africa may belong to different organizations, Sir, but they have all adopted a standpoint against the path of political integration which the Government is pursuing now. [Interjections.] Their common ideal is to check the NP on the path of political integration it is pursuing at present. [Interjections.]
I hope the hon the Minister will reply to the questions that have been put to him with regard to the Black people, since it seems to me as though he is deliberately keeping quiet about what he and the Government ultimately want to do with the Black people in this country.
The hon the Minister referred to the President’s Council and said that it was a mixed council that was established with our co-operation, and that no member of the President’s Council has lost his identity simply because it is a mixed council. The hon the Minister also said during an NP congress that the Whites, Coloureds and Indians were in the process of becoming a nation.
The hon the Minister says “Of course”. The hon the Prime Minister said that the Coloureds speak our language; they belong to our church, and they are part of our culture; they are part of the South African nation. [Interjections.] If the White, the Coloureds and the Indians can sit together in the President’s Council and not lose their identity, why did the hon the Minister not place them all in a unicameral Parliament? [Interjections.] The CP says that practically, a unicameral Parliament will work better than this multiracial tricameral Parliament the NP wants to introduce now, but the CP rejects any form of multiracial Parliament, whether it is a bicameral or a tricameral Parliament. The Minister referred to my participation on behalf of the CP in the Committee on Standing Rule and Orders. That is true.
However, today I am more convinced than ever that this multiracial tricameral Parliament will not work. [Interjections.]
In the new dispensation the Budget speech has to be delivered before a joint sitting of the three chambers. There have to be three Second Reading debates, and the Minister must be present at all three. There have to be three debates on every Vote, and the Minister concerned has to be present at each one. The debates in Committee will have to take place in three Houses in future. Six Hansards will have to be printed. The appropriation from the general Budget for this White House will have to be discussed in all three chambers and be approved by all three.
Have you only discovered that now?
No, I have not only discovered that now. The NP said that this Parliament is not losing its sovereignty, but in future the money that has to be spent by it will also have to be approved by the Indian and Coloured Houses. [Interjections.] This destroys self-determination.
Apparently there was a great deal of love and peace in the present President’s Council, but it must be borne in mind that all the members were appointed by the hon the Prime Minister. The parties will be able to appoint members in the new President’s Council, and I think that the various parties are going to nominate people who will be bound to a policy and to principles, and then the love and peace in the President’s Council will also be done for. The President’s Council is also being given decision-making powers now, whereas it did not have them before. When agreement cannot be reached on a certain matter in Parliament, the President’s Council will now be able to make a final decision in that regard. The conflicting interests of the various population groups are also going to be brought into the President’s Council in future. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kuruman saw fit to take up the cudgels for his hon leader, the hon member for Waterberg.
If I were you, I would not take up the cudgels for my leader.
I would certainly not take up the cudgels for the leader of the hon member for Kuruman either. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kuruman took up the cudgels for his hon leader. Moreover, he launched an attack on the hon member for Turffontein. He quoted certain statements the hon member for Turffontein made approximately 12 or 14 years ago. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I could also quote things the hon member for Kuruman said recently and ask him how he reconciles them with what his hon leader said in November 1981. Let us take another look at a few of these statements of the hon member for Waterberg. At the Transvaal congress of the National Party in November 1981—and many of the hon members who are now sitting in the CP were present at that congress at that time—the hon member said certain things I want to read out here now. I am not reading from a newspaper report, but from the minuted report of that hon member’s speech. I quote him as follows:
And now comes the very important words of the hon the leader of the CP because it is the typical accusation we have to hear from hon members of that party nowadays. They are constantly accusing the hon the Prime Minister and the NP of this. Hon members may well listen to this:
I still say that.
Mr Chairman, if the hon member says that he still agrees with that, why does he permit hon members of his party to charge the NP with the same thing here today? [Interjections.] Why does he permit … [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, why does he permit the impression to be created within this House and outside that the NP does not also defend the interests of the White man? Why does the hon the Leader of the CP permit—if he still associates himself with those statements—an image to be created of the NP as being a party that speaks to Asians, Coloureds and Black people, merely for the sake of the interests of those people alone, and not for the sake of the interests of the Whites as well?
You do not know what you are speaking about.
This is in fact the important point.
Mr Chairman, I cannot hear what the hon the leader of the CP is saying when he mumbles like that. [Interjections.]
I say you have no argument; you have no idea what you are talking about. [Interjections.]
The hon the leader of the CP must reply to us in this regard, however, since he and hon members of his party are continually and persistently misleading the voters of South Africa with regard to the premises of the NP on this important matter. [Interjections.] I now want to make a statement, and then I want to hear whether the hon member for Waterberg agrees with it. Is it not true that in the present circumstances in South Africa—and this is probably the essence of what we should be doing—one should in fact establish relations, set negotiations in motion and conduct talks with Black people, Coloureds and Asians, for the sake of the Afrikaner and of the White man as well? Must this not be done precisely for the sake of the continued existence of all the groups in this country? Is this not the essence of what this is about? The hon the leader of the CP and other hon members of his party are therefore denying this very standpoint when they charge the NP all over the country with doing everything for the Blacks, whilst selling out the Whites in the process. This is the charge being laid against the NP by the CP. [Interjections.]
However, let us read a little further what the hon the leader of the CP said in that speech of his. I quote him again, as follows:
Before I continue, Mr Chairman, I want to make it clear that I am really reading these quotations for the edification of the hon member for Kuruman. [Interjections.]
After all, the hon member for Kuruman read certain quotations out here with such a great fuss. His hon leader, however, went on to say in that same speech:
Mr Chairman, we were quite pleased with these pronouncements by the hon the leader of the CP at that time. The hon member for Kuruman, as well as the hon the leader of the CP, also referred to the earlier association … [Interjections.]
They also referred to the earlier association the hon the Prime Minister had with the OB. Firstly, I just want to ask what on earth the OB has to do, now in 1984, with the Vote we are discussing here at present? When we read of the struggle of the Afrikaner in the days of the OB, as well as everything that was linked to that, what was it about, primarily? It was about the struggle of the Afrikaner in his own striving to become free from colonialism. What we are doing today is completely different. That chimaera hon members on the CP side constantly present, viz that this party is treading the same path as the former members of the United Party did in the ’forties, is devoid of all truth. [Interjections.]
I now rather want to come back to the discussion of this Vote, since it seems to me that the hon members of the CP can no longer control or restrain themselves.
I think the discussion of this Vote over the past few days has been a sign of true progress in terms of the constitutional process in South Africa. I was struck by the fact that the hon the Leader of the Opposition and hon members of the PFP did not come forward once again with the traditional complaint they made in previous years that we move one step forward and two steps backwards. That complaint has disappeared against the background of what has happened during the past year under the leadership of this hon Minister and his department with regard to the establishment of the new constitution, the referendum and the Cabinet Committee which is investigating matters with regard to Black people. This means that there is movement, and it confirms an entreaty and a plea emanating from the majority of right-thinking Whites in South Africa, viz that we must move in the direction of solving our problems. The CP and their far right fellow-travellers can climb on the wagon and shout as much as they like. The fact remains that the majority of Whites in this country prefer us to move towards the solution of our problems. I say that this is happening, and I think we can only be grateful for this.
In this regard I want to address a particular point. Today it is a fact, and we cannot deny this—and I am saying this specifically to the CP as well—that a large percentage of Whites are becoming impatient with the fact that we do not yet have specific solutions with regard to the further constitutional development of the Black people. I think this is an essential plea we must make here as well—that there really must be indisputable progress as regards the unsolved problems concerning the constitutional position of the Black people in this country. Whether or not we want to shut our eyes to this, that fact is as plain as a pikestaff. Moreover, there is also a plea which is beginning to emanate in creasingly strongly and an increasing realization of this amongst Whites, from the Cape to the Transvaal, as far as this matter is concerned. They expect the Government to address these unsolved problems and find solutions to them.
Let us look at the question of negotiation, which is specifically relevant to this point. I am very pleased that this is emphasized in the report of the department as well. I am referring to the question of negotiation as such. I reiterate that it is the essence of a large part of the movement in progress and which is linked to the developments that are at stake. What is relevant, is that we must negotiate and enter into discussions with the Black man in respect of his future constitutional development as well. This is where we must seek points of contact, since this is going to determine whether polarization is going to take place, or whether we are going to achieve peace. That is why the hon members of the CP are irrelevant by saying that they would rather speak to Eugene Terre’Blanche—as they have already said in this debate—than with Black leaders. It is irrelevant to speak to Eugene Terre’Blanche in that regard, since that is not where the potential for polarization lies. We must therefore hasten this process on the road ahead. [Time expired.]
Order! Before calling on the next hon member to speak, I want to react on a remark by hon the Leader of the Opposition before business was suspended for lunch.
†On 17 May in my capacity as presiding officer of a Standing Committee I was asked to comment on remarks referring to judges’ decisions. I said at that time on the question of the conduct of a judge:
South Africa prides itself on the independence of its judiciary. A judge, in giving his verdict, considers many relevant aspects which are not necessarily reported on in the public media. It is therefore not prudent for members of Parliament to comment in a general debate on a portion of the judge’s verdict as reported in the Press. It would be injurious to the proper administration of justice to have, in the course of general debates in the House, attacks upon the correctness in law of a judicial decision.
The hon the Leader of the Opposition is not present. If he had been present, I would have asked him to withdraw the remarks he made.
Mr Chairman …
Are you going to react to that report?
Sir, in view of your ruling, hon members will understand that I cannot react to the specific aspect raised by the hon the Leader of the Opposition.
I think you ought to react.
Order! The hon the Minister may proceed.
At the end of this debate I should, in addition to my own staff whom I have already thanked—my personal staff, the private secretary and his assistant and their staff and the messenger—like to thank everyone for their support during the past year and during this discussion. Secondly I should like to thank you, Sir, and the officers of the Committee for the excellent service which you and they rendered in order to facilitate the business of this Committee and to cause it to function smoothly.
There are times when people are prepared to rise to the occasion, and I think the good wishes we all said should accompany the hon the Prime Minister when he departed to state South Africa’s case abroad, was one of those fine occasions. I want to thank hon members for their remarks in this connection.
I shall continue to reply to individual hon members. I shall have to do so very briefly, in view of the limited time I have.
The hon member for Turffontein touched upon two essential points to which I want to refer. The first—and I agree with this—is the irrelevance of the debate the CP has been conducting after the passing of the Constitution Act and may still be conducting when its implementation becomes a reality. It is a fact that the hon member for Waterberg and his party are trying to return to a pre-constitution and a pre-referendum era. It is also a fact that that irrelevance will become even greater when we are functioning in the new dispensation.
What I am now saying, I am actually saying with concern. The CP has really become a political anachronism. It is nothing but a minor protest movement running counter to the tide of development, to the tide of progress.
The hon member for Turffontein made an interesting contribution on the concepts of federation and confederation and the forms of co-operation. I think one of the greatest problems we have in our debates is a conceptual confusion as to what certain expressions mean. That is why it seems to me we should preferable conduct our debates on concepts rather than on their definitions.
In this connection the hon member for Waterberg arrogated to himself the right to reprimand the hon member for Turffontein as his elder in respect of remarks the hon member for Turffontein had made here and elsewhere in respect of the hon member for Waterberg. The hon member for Waterberg is the last person who should reprimand other people on their standpoints in regard to other people. The hon member for Waterberg has a golden opportunity to apply the standards which he applies to other people to himself. I now challenge him to do so. I take it that he has access to the hon member for Rissik. Or perhaps it is the other way round. I maintain that the hon member for Waterberg, who is adopting a sanctimonious attitude towards the hon member for Turffontein here, has still not reprimanded the hon member for Rissik on his admission that he distributed anonymous documents against his own colleagues. The codes and standards of the hon member for Waterberg allow such things to happen in his party, but he is terribly sensitive when other people adopt standpoints which are supported by the truth. [Interjections.] I did not intend to react to the hon member for Kuruman. After I had been sitting here the whole morning, and then walked out for a moment, the hon member for Kuruman shouted: “He is running away”. He is the last person who should allege that people are running away from their responsibilities. I shall leave the matter at that.
The hon member for Yeoville put certain questions to me. I undertook to reply to them and I hope that I shall have enough time to do so. He referred to the standpoint which I adopted when I said that the reform processes should be integrated processes and that it was not possible to set a process of reform in motion in a specific area without this having a ripple effect, or otherwise having a destabilizing effect. I want to make it clear to the hon member that I have always abided by the standpoint that there is a close relationship between political and constitutional reforms and the socio-economic adjustments that ought to accompany such reform. In fact, the hon member and I agree that people wish to participate in politics precisely in order to preserve or to improve their socio-economic position. Consequently we do not differ with one another. He and I and other members of the Committee all believe that this is the motivation for the desire to participate in political life.
I want to go further by saying that in a society in which there is disparity, the urge to participate becomes stronger. We do not differ with one another on that score. I maintain that constitutional reform would be completely without substance if it did not lead to the improvement of the quality of life of the people involved. We agree on this matter as well.
That is my problem with the Minister of Finance.
I am coming to the hon member in a moment and to the Minister of Finance as well.
In contrast the hon member will agree with me that we shall not be able to satisfy the expectations and needs if excessive demands are made on this country’s capacity. We do not differ on that score either. It is not only the hon member and I who believe that constitutional and socio-economic reforms must go hand in hand. On the contrary, the Government’s policy, as it is manifested in the activities of the department, is in fact aimed at trying to ensure, together with the private sector that this does in fact happen, is so far as it is within the means of the Government. It is related to the concept of private enterprise, of decentralized decision-making and co-ordinated reform in every sphere. The hon member will understand that socio-economic development and reform is a dynamic process.
Instead of spending too much time on blueprints—if that was what the hon member for Sea Point was referring to when he spoke about a socio-economic reform plan— the Government has for a long time now been putting its words into action in respect of this standpoint and policy. This is inter alia evident from the fact that the overall constitutional, economic, physical, social and scientific planning functions have been centralized under one department and Ministry, with the unique position allocated to the Central Economic Advirsory Service within this structure.
Recently this co-ordinating function was taken a step further by means of the adjustments which were made to the functioning of the former economic planning branch. In this connection I want to refer hon members to the report, which explains the new position.
I now want to refer to the progress that has been made in the sphere of socio-economic reform, with reference to the speeches made by the hon member for Yeoville and the hon member for Greytown. I want to draw to hon members’ attention that owing to the co-ordinated efforts of the authorities, phenomenal progress has also been made in the sphere of socio-economic development and reform during the past few years, and that these have gone hand in hand with the constitutional reforms. Government actions in this connection were not only confined to the RSA itself, but even extended across national boundaries, which has had a stabilizing effect on the entire subcontinent.
In the case of the RSA itself the socio-economic reform actions were for the most part aimed at creating beter opportunities for all. The hon member for Yeoville will know that this is the difference between our actions and those of the First World vis-à-vis the Third World, because we want to create opportunities so that people may increase their incomes. Examples of such actions are the reforms in the labour system—the hon member is aware of this—which have been implemented during the past few years with the abolition of job reservation, the establishment of the principle of free association and negotiation in the labour sphere and the intensified emphasis on training. As far as training is concerned, in 1982 and 1983, respectively, 455 000 and 446 000 persons were trained in terms of the Manpower Training Act. In other words, there was a synchronization of the entire concept of development in this specific sphere.
During the past eight years Budget spending on education, measured in real terms, increased by a average of approximately 9% per annum. Once again this provides significant evidence of synchronization of the development actions within the State and the private sector.
In conjunction with the constitutional development on the local level, progress has also been made with the promotion of entrepreneurial proficiency among all the population groups. In the case of Coloured people and Asians the development council alone has already established 49 business centres, representing 772 shops at an erection cost of R59 million. In addition to this, 9 274 businesses had already been established in Black residential areas in 1980. Many of these business undertakings were financed by the Small Business Development Corporation, which in itself is making a major contribution to the establishment of independent autonomous local authorities.
In addition to these initiatives the planning actions of the Government in general, and those of my department in particular, found expression in specific programmes, which I quickly want to refer to.
The first is regional development and industrial decentralization. Owing to the co-ordinated regional development strategies, the Government has during the past few years succeeded to a large extent in channelling the benefits of socio-economic development and reform to large areas of the country, which would not otherwise have been the case. This is evident from the success which, despite the slowdown in the economy, has already been achieved with the regional industrial development programme, on which my colleague, the hon the Minister of Industries, Commerce and Tourism, has already given a full report.
Of course there are also members on the opposite side of the House who are of the opinion that the industrial decentralization programme cannot be justified on economic grounds and also that that is not the motive for the programme. In this connection I should like to draw hon members’ attention to a few interesting particulars. Firstly it ought to be noted—and this is important— that if the present trends continue to the year 2000, the decentralization programme will result in 2,4 million people, who would otherwise have had to be accommodated in metropolitan areas, being able to find a livelihood in the decentralized areas. This is approximately equal to the population at present falling under the Rand Water Board. To provide such an increase in the population of the major urban complexes with water, however, would cost far more than the present average cost is amounting to in the decentralized areas.
That is not true.
The hon member for Walvis Bay referred to this, and so did the hon member for Welkom. [Interjections.]
An influx to the urban areas also has far-reaching implications for the cost of the transport infrastructure. In fact, it has been calculated by my department—and I prefer their calculations to those of the hon member for Greytown, because he becomes mesmerized—that it will be possible to recover at least 36% of the industrial incentive costs from savings on the cost of the provision of water and transport infrastructure alone. [Interjections.]
Sir, the hon member for Walmer has grown rich within the framework of the financial and economic policy of this Government. So he should rather keep quiet. [Interjections.]
If the industrial incentive measures were to lead to self-generating processes at certain development points before the year 2000, we are convinced that such points will be able to develop further under their own steam and that this percentage could then be far greater. Now add to this the savings in the sphere of housing, health infrastructure, crime prevention and the maintenance of law and order …
What savings …
Could the hon member not please keep quiet? Surely I did not interrupt him.
But you are talking such utter …
If we add the savings in the areas to which I have referred, it cannot simply be alleged that the promotion of industrial decentralization cannot be justified on economic grounds. Sir, I want to tell the hon Chief Whip of the official Opposition that he has a choice. I am replying to the hon member for Yeoville. If the hon Chief Whip thinks it is not necessary, he need only give me an indication.
I have referred to the economic grounds for industrial decentralization. However, I have not even referred to the external costs of pollution and the depopulation of the rural areas yet. The hon member for Yeoville at least will be able to understand such matters. In my opinion there are members who will have to go back and do their calculations all over again.
Of course the decentralization programme and policy and industrial decentralization also serve the cause of the constitutional objectives of the Government. To allege, however, that they are based solely on ideological considerations, as some people argue, is to violate the truth.
But there are ideological factors which play a role.
Yes, I have just conceded that, but surely the hon member agrees with that.
I am merely saying that there are also ideological factors which play a role.
Of course. I am saying, however, that we cannot attribute these things to such factors only. That is all I am saying. We do not differ with one another. When the party of the hon member for Greytown argues about a federation, does that federation not consist of geographical components that have to be developed? What kind of nonsense are those hon members then engaged in?
Regional development—I want to emphasize this—is not confined to industrial decentralization only. With a view to the further expansion of the regional development strategy, attention is being given in various spheres to the other elements of regional development. In this way, for example, attention is being given to agricultural development. The various regional development advisory councils are at present giving attention to the various inputs, and their advice will be channelled through the Co-ordinating Council for Economic Development. A great deal of progress has already been made with the compilation of the programme concerned, which will also include the revision of the economic development programme as such. It is hoped that this programme can be released before the end of the year. With the establishment of the National Regional Development Advisory Council, the organizational structure for the provision of advice on the promotion of regional development has been completed.
Inter-state development co-operation is an important component of the total strategy. As regards the Government’s policy of promoting socio-economic development in a broad context beyond the borders of the country as well, the activities are primarily aimed at helping the states to help themselves by means of development co-operation. I thank the hon member Dr Welgemoed for his contribution in this connection, because I think it is very relevant.
On the national level, special structures were created to ensure co-ordination and the reform of national economic and financial policy among the various governments. For this purpose various inter-state committees have been brought into existence, under the umbrella of the Development Council of Ministers. These committees are, inter alia, involved in the spheres of agriculture, transport, health and manpower. Within the framework of these structures, an agreement has, inter alia, already been arrived at on the administration of the various unemployment insurance funds that have already been established, secondly, on the extension of the industrial incentive measures to small industrialists in the formal and informal sectors in the form of simplified intensive measures and, thirdly, on the development of an employment creation programme to help alleviate the unemployment problem in the short term.
Various other matters of common concern are receiving further attention, such as the revision of the system of financial relations between the RSA and the independent and self-governing states. It must be realized that co-operation in the economic sphere also leads to other forms of co-operation, to which the hon member for Turffontein quite correctly referred. In fact, the present multilateral co-prosperity structures already comprise the ingredients necessary for institutionalized co-operation among the states within the traditional boundaries of South Africa.
The recent decision of the states concerned to convert the interim secretariat of the co-prosperity structures into a permanent body that will be staffed by all the states is, in truth, a first step in the direction of further co-operation.
I come now to the question of the national economic policy. Although I do not have the time to discuss the Government’s national economic and socio-economic policy in full, I do nevertheless want to convey the following standpoint to the hon member for Yeoville. Guidelines do, in fact, exist for a national economic policy strategy, formulated by the Economic Advisory Council, with the help of the Central Economic Advisory Service. Secondly, the Government’s economic policy initiatives are regularly scrutinized against these guidelines and, thirdly—it is this aspect which the hon member is so concerned about—the guidelines concerned, which have since been further adjusted and refined, were distributed as long ago as 1979 as a background document to those who attended the hon the Prime Minister’s Carlton conference.
Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon the Minister a question. It is very clear from the hon the Minister’s speech that he considers co-operation between the public authorities and the private sector to be necessary for the implementation of those matters which he mentioned. If this is so—I accept it and he also accepts it—is he not then concerned about the criticism which is at present being expressed by the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut and the Chamber of Commerce on the handling of the country’s economy by the hon the Minister of Finance?
Mr Chairman, if time allows I shall not only react to that question, but also to the criticism.
I would appreciate that.
I repeat, I shall do so if I have the time for it. But there are other hon members to whom I must also give attention; the hon member cannot receive all my attention. [Interjections.]
You are now evading my question.
No, I am not evading the question. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon the Minister does not have much time left.
It is not only the Government that realizes how serious a matter the participation of the private sector is, but there are people in the private sector who are giving attention to it. I have a telex here from private businessmen who got together and established an organization by means of which, at their own expense, on their own initiative and with their own capital they have, within the framework of the Government’s economic and financial policy, identified the TBVC countries as those countries which are being accorded the highest priority for their development actions. However, I shall return to this matter later.
The hon member for Durban Point apologized for not being able to be here this afternoon. However, he asked me to tell him where the planning activities of my department were leading to. Let us consider this for a moment: In the constitutional sphere they are leading to a new constitution, and also to practical negotiations with Black leaders on the political development of the Black people inside and outside the national and independent states. We are also envisaging the revision of the existing local authority systems, and institutions to render combined services. The hon member for Boksburg, the hon member Dr Welgemoed and the hon member for Welkom also referred to this matter.
On the economic level we are envisaging guidelines for a national economic policy strategy, which served as a background document at the Carlton conference. In addition to that, we are planning priority guidelines in respect of State spending, which is an important input to the budgetary proposals of the hon the Minister of Finance. A long-term employment creation strategy and a special short-term employment creation action were also tabled in the House, and we are also working on an anti-inflation strategy. Perhaps the private sector should tell us what progress they are making in putting their undertakings given at the anti-inflation conference into operation.
There is also an economic development programme which is at present being revised, a regional development programme and other regional development initiatives. We also have co-prosperity structures and development co-operation actions on a regional and inter-state level, for example the RDACs, the national council and the multilateral dispensation under the umbrella of the Development Council of Ministers. These are all things that have come into existence as a result of the co-ordinating action within the State structure.
In the physical sphere there is the dividing of the country into various development regions, the drawing up of guide plans and the National Spatial Ordering Plan, which is at present approaching completion. There is also the conservation of sensitive natural areas. I must say at once that the finest co-operation exists between my department and the Department of Environment Affairs in this connection. In addition to this, we also have various project developments.
Finally, there are social actions, including the population development programme and the community development strategy. In the scientific sphere a national scientific policy has been released, which will strive to attain certain objectives in respect of Government spending on research. In addition, there is also the co-ordination of the allocation of research and development funds. Consequently, development is taking place over a very wide area.
I now wish to reply briefly to hon members. The hon the Leader of the Opposition tendered an apology, but he did not reply to my questions. He said that they were going to give the people advice in the election, but that they were not going to interfere with the political parties. I did not ask him to interfere. I asked him whether he would recommend to them that they should participate in the election, and whether he had recommended to them that they participate in the registration so that they could use their votes.
They are big enough to make their own decisions.
That is very interesting. The hon member said that they were big enough to make their own decisions. Why did the hon member’s party then present the proposals in connection with a Black council as objectionable? Why did even the media fellow-travellers of the hon member also do that? Why did they not allow those people to form their own opinion? No really, the hon member should not be so pious! [Interjections.]
I now wish to react to the speech made by the hon member for Barberton. It so happens that he is not in the Chamber at the moment. He initiated a rescue operation for the policy of his party. He is an intelligent hon member. He has not become more intelligent since he left the NP, but he did make two statements to which I wish to reply. His first statement was that we have now achieved a system of enforced consensus. Let us scrutinize this statement of his. In 1977 the hon member expressed his support for a Council of Cabinets, which would be constituted according to a fixed ratio of 4:2:1, and which would be responsible for all legislation and decisions on general affairs. Was that enforced consensus? Furthermore, the hon member for Barberton was in favour of three Parliaments, of which one had a right of decision over the others. Was that enforced consensus? [Interjections.] Perhaps the hon member for Langlaagte would reply on behalf of the hon member for Barberton, if he is capable of doing so.
Man, I do not want to start a new debate with you. [Interjections.]
Up to that stage the hon member for Waterberg had led his party along a pathway in regard to which the decisions of the White Parliament in that system would have been subject to the consent of a Coloured or Asian Parliament. Was that enforced consensus-seeking? Why must we, when we debate matters with one another, function on this basis?
I also want to ask whether the hon member for Barberton did not believe these things at the time. Or did he not understand them? I want to add at once that I think the hon member did understand them. There was no one, of all those who are now members of the CP, who fought the HNP with more acrimony than the hon member for Barberton; and what was more, with good effect, I want to concede at once. Now, however, he is embracing the policy of the HNP. [Interjections.] Besides the hon member for Barberton is not unintelligent. I therefore want to put the following question to him. Why did he support Mr Vorster? Why did he support the 1977 concepts? Until he has furnished a reply to this question, he will understand that one entertains serious doubts as to whether he really believed these things. [Interjections.]
What else did the hon member for Barberton say, Mr Chairman? He said we were bringing the Indian population into the mainstream. At the same time the hon member for Rissik said that the Indians were not receiving any say at all. With what kind of logic are we debating in this House? When we talk about the Indians, therefore, we say that they are not receiving any real rights in the new system; they are dominated by the Whites. When we talk to the Whites, however, we say that we are relinquishing the right of self-determination of the Whites, and have placed it in the hands of the Indians. What a disgraceful way this is to debate the problems of this country with one another! [Interjections.]
The hon member for Waterberg can mumble and mutter as much as he likes. However, he was a member of a Cabinet which supported every concept to which I have now been referring. Meanwhile, he did not have the courage to object to it.
You are talking rubbish, man. [Interjections.]
Well, then surely the hon member will understand the message. If I am talking rubbish, surely he will understand my message. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Walvis Bay asked whether we could not establish a free trade zone in Walvis Bay. Under the guidance of my department an investigation is at present being instituted into the possibility of establishing a free trade zone there, as well as in other parts of our country. The hon member also spoke about the planning function of the department. I thank him very sincerely for his remarks in this connection.
The hon member for Boksberg referred to the planning problems and to the social and economic deterioration in certain areas. The hon member is aware that I have already held talks with other colleagues who bear specific and direct responsibility for those aspects he spoke about. Attention is being given to the spatial and other implications of the matters to which the hon member referred. Good progress is being made with the guide plan programme for the East Rand, and it will also contain general guidelines in this connection which will also be made available so that other people can function accordingly. I therefore hope that we will be able to solve those problems.
I agree with the hon member in respect of hsi standpoint on the need for co-operation by local authorities in regard to the provision of services in bulk, and I also agree that we could conduct this experiment in the Western Cape.
†The hon member for Durban North raised two issues, firstly scientific research and the percentages allocated for that particular activity and secondly, the conditions of service. Let me say immediately that a target percentage of expenditure has been identified by the scientific planning section of my department, and I think that we are following the guidelines that have been laid down there.
As regards conditions of service, discussions have taken place on this particular issue as far as the scientists are concerned, and I hope that an announcement in this regard can be made in the very near future.
*Sir, I want to conclude. I think that once we have stripped this debate of our differences, the overwhelming impression is that of the main basis of co-operation.
I want to thank the hon member for Rustenburg for his contribution, as well as all hon members for the contributions they have made to this debate. The hon member for Uitenhage spoke about the development in his area. I want to tell him at once that I agree that we could revise the development actions and concessions there but that it should then take place on a properly structured basis, and he will understand that. Although I am going to give him a comprehensive written reply, I just want to say that during the period 1982 to 1985 the State’s own involvement in the development of the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region amounted to more than R900 million. This was in respect of improvements. The mere expenditure of that amount represents economic activities of great magnitude. In the third place I want to tell the hon member that I think it is a pity that the Mayor of Port Elizabeth, out of political considerations, adopted the standpoints which he did in fact adopt. I can tell him that a condition for development is a climate for development, and a climate for development is not promoted if people in those communities run down their own areas. One’s case is not strengthened because one states it in crude and exaggerated language, and the hon member can go and tell this to the mayor with my compliments.
With reference to the speech made by the hon member for Caledon, I should like to address a few concluding words to the hon members. Since this is the last time that we will be able to discuss my Vote in this Committee, I want to say that because the Afrikaans-speaking Whites represent the vast majority of the Whites in South Africa, they have come of age and have grown to maturity over the years. The Whites of this country find themselves in a privileged position when measured against the position of other groups in this country. The Whites represent a minority group in this country, and expressed as a percentage, they will represent an ever-diminishing minority group in South Africa. That is the reality of this country. However, they also occupy a position of leadership in the country, not because they are White, but because they had the privilege of being exposed to First World systems—economic, political and otherwise— for a far longer period than other people. Instead of this tending to make us grateful and humble, it tends to make many of us self-exalting and self-complacent. The Whites occupy a position of leadership in the country and therefore, if we wish to bring about the transition to a new dispensation in a peaceful way, the Whites and specifically the Afrikaners will for the most part have to accept responsibility for that process. If it is to be constitutional, then the Whites are controlling the constitutional processes today. Because the Afrikaners represent the majority of the Whites, their responsibility is greater, but their opportunities are also greater. Then we should not, in a panic-stricken way, go and isolate ourselves in a dark corner, like a young boy in his puberty who has not yet found himself. [Interjections.]
This responsibility is going to impose heavy demands on us. It is going to require sacrifices from us. It is going to require material sacrifices, but we still have a chance to pay for it in that form. In order to discharge this obligation, we shall have to remove the necessary historical burden from our shoulders. No one must imply that I am saying that we should forget the past, but we cannot use the past to close all avenues to the future. We must use the past to open avenues to the future for all the people in our fatherland. We shall have to rid ourselves of stereotyped and cherished prejudices, ideas and a lot of fictions which now form part of the historical ballast if we wish to steer this ship safely through the troubled waters of the future.
People who continue to lay claim to rights and privileges as their due, cannot accept the responsibility of a position of leadership. In our position as the leading group we shall have to be modest, modest in our claims, modest in our lives, modest in our views of other people. We shall have to view our privileges not as rights but as opportunities. For the sake of our country we shall have to school ourselves in the art of leadership, in the art of readiness to serve a great South Africa. We shall have to school ourselves in the art of generosity.
How is it possible that we are prepared to give the best we have, our young men, to fight for the stability and the security of the country, but when they ask us to do this in the political arena as part of the safeguarding operation, we baulk at it?
One thing we dare not do is to perceive only sectional interests over the short term. If the Whites wish to be a true leadership group for the sake of a greater and better South Africa, we shall have to perceive our own enlightened self-interest as well, and this is going to entail that sacrifices will have to be made in the short and medium term so that the interests of South Africa’s people can be served over the long term. Are we prepared to do that? Are we capable of doing that? Are we able to meet the responsibilities and the demands this is going to make on us all the way through to the end? As far as I am concerned, I think we can do it. It is not going to be easy, but it is going to give all of us great and exhilarating satisfaction.
Vote agreed to.
Chairman directed to report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.
Mr Chairman, in the Second Reading debate, I raised three points. The first is the question of representation on such a board of people who represent the different forms of local government. If I understood the hon the Deputy Minister correctly, he actually indicated that not only would local government be represented, but that people from the different race groups who make up that local government would also be represented. I would like him to confirm this. Does he have in mind, in respect of clause 5(l)(c) representatives of Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Blacks in South Africa?
The second point is that the number of four would, to my mind, in the circumstances be inadequate. If one allows the Minister to appoint at least one and not more than four, one is to some extent restricting his ability to appoint a number of people to the board. If one says one up to six or eight, it gives the Minister far greater manouvreability.
The third point is that I believe there should be on this board people who are actually experienced in the banking and financial sectors particularly in regard to issues such as stock issues, the raising of public loans, the raising of funds overseas and in dealing with the market mechanism in regard to the issue of stock.
On these last two points we did not find common ground. The hon the Deputy Minister is the only one who can move the increase of the number of persons which can be appointed to the board from four to six, because unfortunately, for better or for worse, these people are going to be paid and such an amendment would therefore have financial implications. An ordinary member can therefore not move an amendment to increase a number where finance is involved. If I am wrong, I would like to move such an amendment, but I fear that I will then be ruled out of order. I therefore put the amendment on the Order Paper so that the hon the Deputy Minister, because I am kind and helpful to him, will be able to move the amendment without any further problem. I therefore invite him to move the amendment to increase the number to six.
The other matter is that I was disappointed in his answer with regard to the fact that there should be people who are experienced in banking and finance on this board. His reply was that these people would have conflict of interest, because they might be involved in the banks and with the people who take up the stock and that one can therefore not really take people like that. I interjected at the time that one could take a retired banker but his response was that a retired banker would still have some loyalties. With respect, the hon the Deputy Minister is casting a doubt on the integrity of people of very high repute. The fact that a man has been a banker, does not mean that he will steer the business towards his old employer. All of us have loyalties in life. Nobody is saying that because a public servant went to have lunch with a banker, he is therefore likely to steer business towards that banker. We have respect for the integrity of public servants. There is therefore every reason why we should have people who are in banking and finance involved in this. I am quite sure that the Deputy Minister or the Minister and his officials will well be able to find in the private sector of South Africa people about whose integrity they have no doubt. I think there are many of them. To suggest that you cannot allow people in the private sector on this board because they might be biased in respect of their own companies, previous associates or friends, actually casts a very serious aspersion, which I do not think the hon the Deputy Minister intended. I do not think he believes that.
Why did you not quote completely what I said?
I am asking the hon the Deputy Minister to react to my remarks. That is why I say the number of people should be increased. People from the private sector should be enabled to serve on this board. One can then have the benefit of the expertise of these people. I would like the hon the Deputy Minister to respond before I move any amendments.
Mr Chairman, in regard to the hon member for Yeoville’s the first amendment, namely that the four persons referred to in clause 5(l)(c) be increased to six, I can tell him that this is unacceptable. The reasons why it is unnecessary to increase the number from four to six are, in the first place, that this would increase expenditure and, in the second place, that it would make this body unnecessarily cumbersome. Absolutely no reason was given why this body would function more efficiently with six persons than with the four proposed in the Bill.
In regard to the hon member’s second amendment, in which he referred to persons with financial expertise, I first want to comment on what, according to the hon member for Yeoville, I am supposed to have said about private persons in the Second Reading debate. I did say that it would be undesirable—or words to that effect—for persons who have private interests, and on whom undue pressure could be exerted, to be appointed to the board. I also pointed out, however, that private persons may be appointed in terms of clause 5(l)(c). That possibility is therefore not totally excluded. That is what I said. The hon member may refer to my speech.
I should, however, like to go along with the hon member’s wishes, and for that reason I myself have placed an amendment on the Order Paper. I want to give the hon member credit for bringing this matter to my attention, and I therefore move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
This then leaves one person who may come from the private sector. It may also, at in the discretion of the hon the Minister, be a person with financial expertise. I want to give the hon member credit for bringing this point to my attention and I thank him for doing so.
Mr Chairman, I learnt in my youth that half a loaf is better than none and I therefore do not want to be ungracious as I am at least getting half a loaf.
I want to refer very briefly to what the hon the Deputy Minister has said. I cannot move my amendments as they would be ruled out of order and therefore I will have to be satisfied with what the hon the Deputy Minister offers me. The hon the Deputy Minister firstly said that there will be additional expenditure involved. However, the amount of money involved in appointing two additional members is, in the light of what we are dealing, with really trivial and I am surprised that this was raised as an argument.
The second argument was why a body with two more people should be more efficient than one without two additional members. It is because it will be more representative and it will certainly not make the body that much more bulky. Provision is in any case made in the Bill for an executive committee. The executive committee can deal with the day-to-day matters. Therefore, the suggestion that by appointing six members one will make the body bulky is not an acceptable argument and I think the hon the Deputy Minister will concede that.
I come to a third point. The hon the Deputy Minister has met my argument by saying he is going to cut down on the number of people who must compulsorily come from the Public Service and therefore he will have a vacancy for someone from the private sector. Before that, however, it was actually impossible to appoint someone from the private sector if the hon the Deputy Minister were to honour his undertaking, as I anticipate he would, that a representative would be appointed from each of the forms of local government, ie for the four different race groups. Then it would be impossible to appoint someone else without taking the representative of either an Indian, a Coloured, a Black or a White local government off the board. So it can be done now, but at the expense of having one less public servant. Whether that is good or bad, is, I think, also open to question because one of the things that is important as far as the Public Service and the Department of Finance are concerned is that the people who deal with particular problems should also be fully represented there. So, if one looks at this logically, the argument of having four or six members is actually quite petty because there is very little that turns on it and having six members will give the Minister greater manoeuvrability.
So, whereas I have got half a loaf from the hon the Deputy Minister, I would ask him to throw a few more crumbs around and also give us the other half of the loaf, which would then satisfy us.
Mr Chairman, no, unfortunately I cannot go any further than that. The fact of the matter is that the four persons representing the local authorities—let us assume they are, as the hon member said, the local authorities of the Coloureds, the Indians, the Blacks and the Whites—may also be persons from the private sector who are participating in the activities of the local authorities of the respective groups. I think the hon member will grant me that. When one works for local authorities it is not full-time work. For the most part it is persons from the private sector who participate.
But one has to find a banker who is also a member of a town or city council.
But that is not impossible either. The amendments I myself have moved, however, give the Minister room in which to manoeuvre. Consequently there is not a single sector which cannot be represented on the board if the Minister so decides. For that reason I am still of the opinion that the smaller this body is the more effective it will be. The hon member knows that this is the case.
I also move the two further amendments printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 6. On page 7, in line 4, to omit “a member” and to substitute “an officer”.
- 7. On page 7, in line 10, to omit “member of the board referred to in subsection (1)(c)” and to substitute “person referred to in subsection 1(b) and (c)”.
These are merely consequential amendments to my first amendment.
Mr Chairman, there is nothing political about this. We are trying to do what is best for local authorities and for the legislation before us. The hon the Deputy Minister has moved further amendments and we have no quarrel with them.
I move the two amendments printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 5, in line 58, to omit “at least one and not more than”.
- 2. On page 5, in line 60, after “affairs” to insert:
I referred to this in my Second Reading speech and the hon the Deputy Minister was kind enough to respond to it and say that it was really what he had in mind and that that was the intention. He said that, although there was no firm undertaking or assurance given, it was understood that what is outlined in my amendment would in fact take place. I have given the matter considerable thought and have come to the conclusion that I am obliged to proceed with my amendments. As regards my reasons for moving them, I would direct the hon the Deputy Minister’s attention to the wording of my second amendment. I am not asking him to appoint an Indian gentleman to represent the Indian local authorities, a Coloured gentleman to represent the Coloured local authorities or a Black to represent the Black local authorities. If that is what I had in mind, I would have worded my amendment differently. The amendment is worded “one of whom shall represent” White, Black, Coloured and Indian local authorities. So it does not have to be a person from a specific group. The reason is obvious because the United Municipal Executive is a proper organization representing all local authorities in South Africa. There is no problem about that. However, there are other local authorities, those of the other population groups, where perhaps there is not quite an organization such as the UME. There are other organizations. It may not be expedient for the Minister to make the appointment right now, but if we word it in this way then we will be passing legislation where the intention of the Minister—that is his intention— will be placed on record. In the event of the hon the Deputy Minister becoming Minister of Finance or Minister of some other portfolio his successor will then not have to say that he is not bound by his predecessors. I think it creates a bad precedent to pass legislation on the strength of understandings, because one knows, for example, that in law what is said in Hansard does not constitute part of the legislation. It is necessary for us to have this on record and to put it in the legislation.
There is a further psychological factor, and perhaps even more than a psychological factor. It is an important factor. We are on the verge now of creating a new deal, a new constitution, a new way of thinking, as contemplated by the Croeser Working Group. It takes particular cognizance of the fact that we will have these new local authorities. As mentioned by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning today we are getting a new deal as far as local Government is concerned. It is important therefore for this Parliament to show that we recognize each one as a local authority, that we recognize each group and that each group in its own right will have total representation. Therefore it must be written into the legislation before us today.
The hon the Deputy Minister and I had some friendly conversations about this matter. He will understand that after considerable thought on the matter I feel it is necessary to move the amendment. I sincerely trust the hon the Deputy Minister will accept it in this spirit and accept the amendment as moved.
Mr Chairman, I want to support the hon the Minister fully in his refusal to accept the amendment in terms of which the board has to be increased from four to six members. To me it is absolutely illogical to make the body so large. We have to ask ourselves what the purpose of this loan fund is. It is not a matter of everyone having to be involved and of the board having to be enlarged to such a great extent. This is not such an all-important matter. The department has certain loan funds at its disposal, which can be made available to local authorities under certain conditions in order to finance certain projects. It is the function of the board to see to it that the money is loaned on a proper basis and that it will be safe. Certain rules and regulations have to be complied with. I feel that because the hon the Minister has emphasized in this legislation that the board could be made even smaller in that there will be an executive committee, it is not necessary to have a larger board; on the contrary I would think that the executive committee alone could, should and would be competent enough to take care of the funds that are loaned. I am therefore of the opinion that the body should not be made larger.
The amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow that Coloureds, Indians and Blacks should be represented is merely a case of dragging racism into this matter. It is not going to serve any purpose. I want to make it quite clear that I am of the opinion that the hon the Deputy Minister should not accept the amendment.
Mr Chairman, I want to associate myself with the hon member for Sunnyside and indicate that what he said was very true. The hon the Deputy Minister must tell us whether this is going to be a mixed board or whether it is going to consist of Whites only. It is essential for us to know this before we vote on the provisions. This matter has certain implications. A local authority consisting of Whites only—take the Johannesburg City Council as an example—may have water reticulation systems as well as other services under its control which serve various areas. These include Soweto, Lenasia and other parts of the city. In those areas it may happen that an unjust tax is being levied on the taxpayers of the city of Johannesburg, for example, in connection with money that is not being repaid by other people. The rates levied on the city of Johannesburg will relate to the entire group of people, and this is undoubtedly going to cause problems. Without trying to politicize this matter, we should like to know from the hon the Minister whether this board is going to consist of Whites. The new dispensation is another matter entirely. Under the new dispensation people of colour will also be working in the Public Service. Let us assume the town council of Potgietersrus consists of members of the CP.
What about Rosettenville?
Yes, we could also take Rosettenville as an example. Let us assume there is a Black or some other local authority near Potgietersrus. The rates have to be levied. If one local authority wants to raise a loan, the other local authority may say that it does not want to raise a loan. [Interjections.]
†I am talking of a bulk supply to different areas, which in the end must be paid by a local authority in that region, or at least by a user of such bulk supply.
Do you think it will be black water they will supply?
No, I do not think that it will be black water but with this Government one has to be careful. [Interjections.] We will have to pay for the water used by the Blacks. A local authority will certainly be prepared to pay and to make use of these funds provided that these funds are for that local authority. However, I think it is most important that the hon the Minister should tell us whether this board will consist of Whites only, or whether it will be a board with Blacks, Coloureds and Indians serving on it.
*We would therefore appreciate it if the hon the Minister could explain this to us because he must surely realize what problems might crop up.
Mr Chairman, I must express my absolute surprise at the attitude of the CP. One knows that this whole piece of legislation is aimed at establishing a loan fund for the granting of loans to four separate groups of local authorities, i.e. White, Black, Coloured and Indian local authorities. The policy has always been to have four separate entities for the four separate groups. Here we have the very essence of that because here we have the local authorities of each group governing themselves, which is completely in line with their own policy. All that is now being created is a fund and a board who will then have to manage the fund. The board itself is possibly only going to meet twice a year and the loans will only be granted in terms of clause 11. Therefore, with the greatest respect, Mr Chairman, I think the CP are suffering from electionitis. I want to assure them that long after 28 June, long after the by-elections have been decided, this legislation will still for many, many years be in force. We are legislating here to provide for the viability of all the communities that form part of South Africa, and I do feel, therefore, that the CP should not be so nervous at this stage. [Interjections.] All we are looking for here is good legislation.
Mr Chairman, I did not intend to address myself to this particular clause. Having listened, however, to the discussion so far, I feel that I should just make our point of view in this regard quite clear. As the clause is presently worded, the board could have from five to eight members. There is a discretionary power in terms of clause 5 (l)(c) allowing a board to be extended from five to eight members. We believe that the discretionary power is granted in order to enable the minister and the board to decide, depending on the amount and the complexity of the work involved, to expand the board up to eight members if it was found necessary. I believe there is a lot of merit in what has already been said by the hon the Deputy Minister. We do not want the board to be too big.
We will be prepared to go along with it as it presently stands.
As far as the question is concerned of whether this should be a board consisting of people of races other than White, I am afraid we cannot go along with the views put forward by the hon member for Langlaagte. There are many boards already existing and in operation—boards operating very successfully—on which members of other races serve, either as full members or as co-opted members. One such board is the Natal Parks Board, which has operated very effectively until now. If my memory serves me correctly, some of the local transportation boards also have members of other races serving on them. I stand corrected if I am wrong but I know that legislation makes provision for people of other races to serve on those boards. We have therefore no objections at all to the Minister appointing either Indians or Coloureds or Blacks to this board. I just want that fact to be made known.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Hillbrow referred to his amendment in which he asks for specific wording of the clause in order to allow for those three other race groups to be represented here. In my Second Reading speech I expressed the view that I have no objection to that principle. I said that. The important point here, however, is that there are at present no representative bodies of those groups from the ranks of which one can draw representatives to represent those people.
There are Black local authorities. You can choose anybody from a Black local authority.
But they do not have a representative body, an umbrella body. Which one does one give preference in this respect?
That does not matter.
Mr Chairman, how would one then justify the appointment to the board of a representative of one local authority and not from all the others? The correct action would be to wait until there is a representative body, and then to get a representative from that particular umbrella representative body to serve on this board.
The hon member of Hillbrow suggested that it was even possible for a White to represent those groups. I have no better reply to him than the Afrikaans saying: “U is uit die oude doos”.
Oh no, really!
This is what this entire matter is about, Mr Chairman. This is what we have been debating here all day long today. What this is about is that those people should represent themselves. Does the hon member for Hillbrow therefore want to go back to the past by saying that a White should again represent those people? No, Sir. I have already expressed my opinion. I did so in my reply to the second Reading debate. I said that in principle I have no objection to that. I said that at the appropriate time I would have no objection to that having to be done.
I thank the hon member for Sunnyside for his support. I want to say, however, that the executive committee would, in my opinion, not be able to cope with this matter on its own as there had to be a proper body with wider representation than the Government department to which an account is to be given. The hon member will appreciate that certain safety measures, too, have been built into this.
The hon member for Langlaagte said he wanted finality on this matter prior to his voting on the principle. The hon member is utterly confused, however, because after all, he has already voted on the principle. He voted on the principle at Second Reading. The hon member for Hillbrow also referred to the three groups. If the hon member for Langlaagte was therefore unable to work out for himself that other groups, too, could be represented on this body, then he could at least have allowed himself to be guided by the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow. [Interjections.] I just want to say to the hon member for Langlaagte that this particular board will deal only with general affairs, affairs of common interest, and for that reason I have indicated that I have no objection to the other groups, too, being represented on the board. [Interjections.] I also want to tell the hon member for Kuruman that this body is going to be very similar to the Council for the Environment, on which the hon member himself suggested the other groups should have representation. [Interjections.]
Is there no such board for own affairs?
The board for own affairs is the municipality.
†Mr Chairman, I also want to assure the hon member for Amanzimtoti that this board can consist of from five to eight members in terms of the legislation. In regard to what I have said thus far, I also think that he should be satisfied in regard to the representation of the other races.
Mr Chairman, the debate on this clause has taken a somewhat fascinating turn because certain things have become clear.
In the first instance, as far as the Second Reading debate was concerned, I think all hon members in this committee will remember that when the issue was raised as to whether the four different kinds of local authorities would be represented, the hon the Deputy Minister said that that was what he had in mind and that they would be represented. Therefore, even if the hon the Deputy Minister does not accept the amendment now, he has just stated again that when this measure was agreed to unanimously at the Second Reading, everyone in this Committee knew that this board was likely to be multiracial, and the CP voted for this multiracial board. There is no question about that at all. [Interjections.] They cannot get away from that fact. That was what they did.
I will put up my own fight.
No, Sir, we are not having a fight. We are just getting the picture clear. There are other multiracial boards in South Africa and there are going to be more multiracial boards in South Africa. The hon member for Amanzimtoti referred to the Parks Board in Natal. The fact that that is also a multiracial board has nothing to do at all with black and white tortoises or black and white rhino’s. It has to do with Black and White people. [Interjections.] That is what this issue is all about.
Black and white mambas too. [Interjections.]
That may well be, but we are talking about people here.
Something else must also be made clear. When the hon the Deputy Minister talks about our wanting to go back to the old days when Whites represented Blacks, I want to say that that is just so much nonsense. In accordance with our philosophy—and the hon the Deputy Minister knows it—a White can represent a Black and a Black can represent a White. There is nothing wrong with that because if we had our way there would be one umbrella organization for all local authorities and local authorities would not be divided on racial grounds. That is our policy. However, we are faced with the reality of the policy of the Government which is to have separate local authorities for the various races. The reason why the hon member moved his amendment was because we say that we want to be sure that the various types of local authorities will all be represented. The hon the Deputy Minister now says that there is not yet an umbrella organization for each of these different types of local authorities. There is one for Whites, there is one for Coloureds …
Oh, there is. There is a co-ordinating committee. The hon the Deputy Minister should ask the officials; they will tell him. There is a co-ordinating committee for management committees. In so far as the Indians are concerned, they also have a co-ordinating committee. From the Coloured community the hon the Deputy Minister can choose, even if he is right that there is not an umbrella body, and he can also choose from the Indian and black communities a person to represent those local authorities. He can consult with local authorities and he can find an acceptable person. There is no reason to wait until there are umbrella bodies. He does not have to wait until then; he can choose acceptable people now to go on there.
We believe, and I must put it to the hon the Deputy Minister quite clearly, that it is utterly illogical that where one is dealing with a matter which concerns Black people, concerns Coloured people and concerns Indian people, in accordance with existing Government policy the people of those races should not be on that board. The hon the Deputy Minister agrees with us; he says that he agrees with us. All that he will not do is to vote for the amendment. It is illogical that if one agrees with an amendment one does not want to support the amendment. This does not make sense. Seeing that the hon the Deputy Minister has said it in the House, he must vote with us. If he disagess with us, then he should say so.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Deputy Minister said that at the Second Reading stage we had already voted for the principle that there should be a mixed board, but surely that is not true. I also want to refer to the hon member for Yeoville. I have here an explanatory memorandum that was submitted by the hon the Deputy Minister and from which I want to quote, because this is what we voted for.
He said it during the Second Reading debate.
What he said does not matter; it is stated here. On page 2 of the explanatory memorandum it is clearly stated:
There are three of them. I am quoting point 1:
There you have it.
I shall deal with that point as well. I quote further:
It is being extended so that the others can also call on the Fund. It is not said that they are now being brought in to central too. That is not stated here. It is stated quite clearly here, if we understand Afrikaans, that this body is being extended so that they can call on the Fund for further funding. I quote further:
The important words are “aid the department to achieve a more effective macro control”; not to involve the others so that they must now help to control and allocate funds. The hon the Deputy Minister also referred to the next point:
It is surely quite clear that this is being extended so that those people can also be assisted. This is, after all, stated in the hon the Deputy Minister’s own words. These bodies are now being included so that they can also receive assistance from this Fund. We voted for that principle. We voted in favour of those people also being able to receive assistance from the Fund. Then there is the final point:
Then the Bill is explained clause by clause. It is quite clear that the principle we voted for was that the Public Debt Commissioners fall away and that is why there has to be another body. This is correct and this is in line with the other legislation we have adopted. This measure will now take care of this matter and the provisions are being extended so that these other local authorities can also be assisted. It is, however, not provided here that people of colour may also serve on the board.
If one approaches a bank nowadays to enter into a hire-purchase transaction, it is immaterial who one is or what racial group one belongs to. If one has enough capital and one has sufficient credit standing, one’s application will be considered on this basis. In this case local authorities and other institutions such as community councils and Black town councils will also be able to apply to this Fund for loans. The committee then considers these applications and reports to the board on them. The hon the Deputy Minister is correct and I accept this, that the board will supervise such matters and that one will have this safety valve. The board may therefore act as the co-ordinating supervisory body. This is a good thing and I agree with it. We did not, however, vote for a mixed board during the Second Reading.
Mr Chairman, it seems to me there is uncertainty here. Is the hon the Deputy Minister going to accept the proposal of the hon member for Hillbrow?
I have said I am not going to.
If it is his intention tp make this board a mixed board, he must state this specifically in the Bill so that everyone knows what it is all about. The point is that the hon member for Hillbrow did not have any clarity about this either. He moved an amendment in order to obtain certainty. If the hon the Deputy Minister wanted to lay down, as a principle, that this board shall be a mixed board, I want to ask him whether he is now going to accept the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow. Then we would know what to vote on. We have frequently referred to underhanded reform, and this clause is an example of this. We are not told straight out what we must vote on. We shall vote against any proposal until the hon the Deputy Minister tells us unequivocally what the principles are which will apply in a certain case. The hon the Deputy Minister did not spell out the principles, however, and that is why the hon member for Hillbrow also moved this amendment. I therefore ask the hon the Deputy Minister to tell us either that he totally rejects the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow, and that this is not the principle applicable here, or that he accepts his amendment.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Yeoville said that his party had no objection to representing Blacks or having Blacks represent Whites. His party is free to apply that principle when they come into power, but that is not the policy of the NP. Our policy is that people represent themselves. We shall therefore ensure that this is done in a meaningful way. If there is nobody we can ask to recommend to us who should serve on this board, we are not going to do this on an ad hoc basis.
So who is going to represent the Blacks in Parliament?
That hon member must calm down a little, because he knows very well what the NP’s policy is. Unfortunately the hon member for Yeoville is wrong, because there is no representative body of the Coloureds or the Indians that can be represented as a body here. There are ordinary advisory committees and there may be a representative body among them, but by definition that is not a local authority.
I am sorry that I must now argue with the hon member for Sunnyside, because thus far we have got on very well. The hon member did not do his homework and did not prepare himself at all. He even quoted what was said in the explanatory memorandum about the new series of local authorities which are to be established and about the Black boards which have been established and which will have to be financed. Clause 5(l)(c) clearly provides:
The logical question the hon member should actually be asking me is whether I also intend to appoint some of those people. In the Second Reading debate I said that I had no objection to the possibility of there also being people of colour. Surely the hon member was here when I said that. This reply is also for the hon member for Langlaagte, or was he not here when I said that?
I must have been out at that moment.
Well, where was the hon member’s Whip then? [Interjections.] I stated categorically that in principle I had no objection to that.
My reply is therefore that because meaningful representation cannot be given at present, I cannot accept the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow.
Mr Chairman, it seems that we have two fights on our hands, one on the left and one on the right.
As regards the Conservative Party, I made it very clear during the Second Reading debate that I intended moving ah amendment of which the contents would be that the local authorities of each of the four different race groups would be represented. The hon the Deputy Minister said in his reply that he accepted this in principle. He more or less gave an assurance—perhaps not a clear assurance—that this was his intention and that should therefore be clear to everybody in the House. With respect, Sir, everybody voted for the Second Reading and therefore the principle that this board would consist of people representing the four race groups.
Furthermore, the essence of the principle of the Second Reading was the extension of the definition of local authorities. The definition of local authorities is being extended so that administration boards, community councils and Black town and village councils will be included. It is, therefore, clear that the whole concept of this legislation is to provide a loan fund from which local authorities for Blacks, Whites, Coloureds and Indians can all borrow. The board must be established and the hon the Deputy Minister said that it would consist of people representing the different race groups.
As far as the hon members of the Conservative Party are concerned, I do not know why they are so touchy and insist that a board, which will meet twice a year for the benefit of the four different race groups, should not consist of representatives of the four race groups. Do they object to serving on a board consisting of Coloureds, Whites and Indians? [Interjections.] If this is the case, why do they serve on the President’s Council which consists of Coloureds, Whites and Indians?
My quarrel is really with the hon the Deputy Minister. He said that he accepts the principle that all four race groups should be represented. At present, up to four members can be appointed. If he says that no proper representative of Coloured, Indian or Black local authorities are available, I take it he will not be appointing people to the board until such time as there are such representatives, or does he intend filling those vacancies with somebody else in the meantime? In the circumstances, I am prepared to revise my amendments by not pursuing the first amendment, namely to make it compulsory for there to be four members. It can, therefore, stay as it is, namely that there should be “at least one and not more than four”. So the Minister can go up to four any time he likes. I shall then proceed only with my second amendment which provides that one member shall represent each of the groups. In other words, I am now giving the Minister a free hand. As and when there are proper representatives of the local authorities of the other three groups, he can then appoint them. If the Minister wants someone to be appointed on their behalf at the moment, I do not mind if it is someone who belongs to a different group. However, if he wants to stand rigidly by the fact that a Black should represent the Blacks, a Coloured the Coloureds and an Indian the Indians, I shall go along with that. I shall therefore give the Minister the leeway to wait and, as and when vacancies occur, to appoint people on that basis. I shall therefore proceed with my second amendment and, with the leave of the Committee, withdraw my first amendment.
Amendment 1, with leave, withdrawn.
Mr Chairman, we have previously referred to the objective of this Bill, which is a clear objective, and I want to reiterate it. It is to include those administration boards and community councils which could not obtain any assistance in the past.
Order! I should like to draw the attention of the hon member to the fact that arguments that have already been raised need not be repeated.
Sir, I am merely pointing this out in view of the fact that the clause provides that the board shall consist of—
It does, after all, clearly state “knowledge of local authority affairs”. Does the hon the Deputy Minister want to tell me that there are no Whites who have a knowledge of, for example, the administration boards or community councils? That objective is in no way discernible here, and I am confining myself to what is stated in the Bill and cannot allow myself to be led by the opinion of the hon the Deputy Minister. If this Bill were passed today, the public would not refer to Hansard to see what was said in the Second Reading debate, but they confine themselves to what was stated in the legislation and would then act accordingly.
Mr Chairman, I want to ask the hon member for Sunnyside whether he was here when I spoke yesterday.
So the hon member was not here.
I looked at what was stated in the Bill.
Did he look at what I said? Did he read my speech? Did he? He is shaking his head. In my speech I said that I had no objection to the principle. The hon member for Hillbrow’s amendments were on the Order Paper, were they not? Did the hon member for Sunnyside not read them?
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether those amendments were available before he made his Second Reading speech?
The amendments were on the Order Paper before I made my speech. Did the hon member not read them? I am asking him whether he read them.
No, but …
No, he did not read them. Very well. [Interjections.]
Then the hon member for Sunnyside’s problem is that he sits here, with things going on all around him of which he is not a part. Unfortunately I cannot help him.
I also want to refer to the hon member for Hillbrow. I have told him that this is a matter of principle. I have told him that it is this Government’s policy to allow people to represent themselves. This Government intends to implement its policy in this connection. I have nothing further to say to the hon member. I cannot therefore accept his second amendment either.
Amendment 2 put and the Committee divided:
Ayes—19: Andrew, K M; Barnard, M S; Burrows, R M; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Gastrow, P H P; Hulley, R R; Malcomess, D J N; Olivier, N J J; Savage, A; Schwarz, H H; Sive, R; Soal, P G; Suzman, H; Swart, RAF; Tarr, M A; Van Rensburg, H E J.
Tellers. P A Myburgh and A B Widman.
Noes—80: Badenhorst, P J; Barnard, S P; Bartlett, G S; Blanché, J P I; Botha, C J V R; Botma, M C; Clase, P J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cunningham, J H; De Jager, A M v A; Delport, W H; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Grobler, J P; Hardingham, R W; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Hoon, J H; Hugo, P B B; Jordaan, A L; Koornhof, P G J; Kotzé, G J; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Meiring, J W H; Miller, R B; Munnik, LAPA; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Pretorius, P H; Rencken, C R E; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, W J; Scholtz, E M; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Snyman, W J; Steyn, D W; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Treurnicht, A P; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van Eeden, D S; Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J J B; Venter, A A; Vermeulen, J A J; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wilkens, B H; Wright, A P.
Tellers: W J Cuyler, W T Kritzinger, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and M H Veldman.
Amendments 5 to 7 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper as follows:
I briefly wish to point out that there is no security of tenure of any person if, in fact, the Minister can revoke his appointment at any time. There is no obligation on the Minister to furnish any reasons. He merely has to form an opinion which in law has been held, whether his opinion is right or wrong does not matter, and this means that he can actually revoke an appointment at his discretion. If there are people who exercise an independent point of view on a board, then they must have security of tenure. Therefore I should like to move the deletion of this power on the part of the Minister to revoke the appointment of anybody at any time he chooses.
Mr Chairman, the Minister is responsible for the proper and effective operation of this specific fund. The management of this fund has, in actual fact, been transferred from the commissioners to the Department of Finance. Certain conditions are laid down under which a member of the board may forfeit his position, inter alia if he were to be declared insolvent or if he became mentally incapable of continuing with his activities. There are, however, other problems which may crop up and which are not mentioned in the legislation. A member may, for example, for some or other reason one cannot now foresee, become an embarrassment to such a board. In addition, the Minister is responsible to this House for his every action in this connection. He has to answer for his actions here, and if he were unjustly to insult any one of those members, as the hon member for Yeoville is trying to suggest here, the hon member for Yeoville would have the right to ask questions about this and even to request a debate on the matter. The Minister must therefore carry out his functions in this connection with the greatest possible care. Unfortunately I cannot therefore accept the amendment.
Amendment 1 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to.
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
What is quite fascinating here, Mr Chairman, is that the amendment which appears in the name of the hon the Deputy Minister enables the Minister to have the same power he would have in terms of my amendment. The only difference is that in terms of my amendment he can do specifically what he seeks to specify in his own amendment. The circumstances are similar to those relating to an earlier clause on which we had a division. In that case we wanted to have it entrenched that people representing the four different local authorities had to be appointed. The hon the Deputy Minister, however, did not accept that and stated that he had the power in broad terms and that he was therefore not prepared to accept a specific direction.
In terms of my amendment he will be given the power in broad terms while, in terms of the amendment he is evidently going to move, he will be narrowing down that power. He has the power to do what he wants to do in a broader form in terms of my amendment. However, he seems to want to limit his power in terms of his own amendment as printed.
The attitude I adopt towards this matter is that if there are three people for the executive, then there must obviously be some people who are connected with the Public Service. Furthermore, it is logical that there should be someone who is connected with the Department of Finance. It would be ludicrous to do otherwise in these circumstances. However, in terms of his printed amendment, the hon the Deputy Minister wants the executive committee of the board to consist of three persons appointed by the board, of whom at least two must be officers in the department nominated by the Director General. I believe it is not necessary to have that limitation because if he states that the executive committee should consist of three people they could either all be officials or some of them could be officials, depending on whatever seems to be appropriate in the circumstances. I am actually trying to give the Minister a greater discretion in terms of my amendment than the hon the Deputy Minister is seeking to obtain.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Yeoville has asked, in his proposed amendment, that the three persons constituting the executive committee of the board should simply be three persons without any qualifications. At some stage or other one could, of course, also insist on all three those persons having to come from the private sector.
The Minister must, after all, make these appointments.
Yes, that is correct. The private sector, however, could insist that persons from that sector should be appointed. The hon member for Yeoville would do something like that. I know him. Then we would be in the unenviable position of the Department of Finance having to deal with a matter by making use of people from the private sector instead of its own officials. Moreover, those people do not earn a salary. I therefore feel that the limiting amendment I intend to move will resolve the problem the hon member pointed out to me yesterday and which I accepted as a bona fide problem. The hon member then expressed the opinion that perhaps someone from outside the department should also be involved in this matter. That is why, Mr Chairman, if it is in order, I now move, in response to the hon member for Yeoville’s amendment, the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
So there is one vacancy we can fill from outside the department. As the hon member said yesterday, that vacancy may even be filled by someone from the Reserve Bank. That was definitely not a bad suggestion on his part.
Mr Chairman, I actually regard it as a strange thing that the hon the Deputy Minister should now be afraid that I would appoint everybody from the public sector if I had that power. Previously he has always argued that I am in favour of Government interference, that I support the Public Sector and that I am in fact the one who is trying to stifle private enterprise. This has been the most remarkable volte face on the part of the hon the Deputy Minister. However, I am indebted to him in that he has now seen me in my correct perspective. At last he has seen what I really am. That is really progress on his part. However, if I did have the power to make the appointments I would certainly not appoint three people not one of whom was involved in the Government sector. I think it would be foolish to do so. I think it is logical that one should appoint people who are either connected with the department or alternatively with the Reserve Bank. However, the problem that the hon the Deputy Minister has now created for himself is that in terms of his proposed amendment neither of the two people whom he can appoint can be from the Reserve Bank because the Reserve Bank staff are not officers in the department. The hon the Deputy Minister has therefore really caught himself up in his own amendment because by providing that two of these appointees shall be officers in the department nominated by the Director-General means that if someone from the Reserve Bank is appointed he cannot appoint anybody from the private sector. He can only appoint the third person from the Reserve Bank. The other two have to be appointed from the department and the Reserve Bank is not part of the department.
I want therefore to suggest to the hon the Deputy Minister to reflect on the situation for a moment. Perhaps then he will realize that the logical thing to do here in order to obtain the best executive is to provide for one appointee from the department, one from the Reserve Bank and one from the private sector. I think that such an executive would be outstanding, and this can only be done through my amendment and not through the amendment of the hon the Deputy Minister. Therefore, I appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister to accept my amendment and not to pursue his.
Mr Chairman, I just want to tell the hon member that it is the executive committee of the department, and I also want to tell the hon member that I have quite a lot of experience of the work of a commissioner in terms of the old legislation. I think it is actually inappropriate to appoint a person from the private sector. I do not think it is possible, because it is the day-to-day work of the department that has to be done here. The person who lends himself to serve on this executive committee, and who is not an official of the department, can only be a representative of the Reserve Bank. Moreover, these people do not receive any remuneration. The legislation provides for the administration of this fund to rest with the department. Specific provision is made for this. The person who must thererefore be appointed, and who is not a member of the department, must be able to fit in with the department’s activities very easily. That is why I said that the hon member’s proposal about the Reserve Bank was a good one.
Amendment 1 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Amendment 2 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment to this clause standing in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
This is simply a terminological amendment. The term used in law is “immovable property” and not “immovable goods”. This is certainly the case in the English language and I therefore move the amendment.
Mr Chairman, as far as the English text is concerned, I readily grant the hon member that. “Immovable property” is grammatically correct. In the Afrikaans text “roerende en onroerende goed” is, however, quite correct in a grammatical sense, and I think the hon member will be satisfied with that.
Mr Chairman, I rise more by way of inquiry. I want to direct the attention of the hon the Deputy Minister to the provisions of clause 11(l)(f) which provides:
We are dealing with local authorities and I am just curious to know what the hon the Deputy Minister has in mind when we make provision that local authorities will be able to obtain funds to provide hospitals, which is a provincial or national matter, places of isolation, which are handled by national bodies, and asylums, which are handled by the central Government. As far as charitable services are concerned, I know that in the Transvaal local authorities are bound by the Hoek Commission which prohibits local authorities from providing charitable services except by way of grants-in-aid and donations. I have no objection to giving them wider powers, but I am just curious to know why these powers, which are not peculiar to local authorities are included in this paragraph.
Mr Chairman, I just want to draw the hon member’s attention to the fact that these powers as wide as they are, probably come from the existing legislation. The whole idea is to make those powers as wide as possible to enable the authorities concerned to operate in as wide a field as possible.
Mr Chairman, the trouble is that although this section appears in the legislation, what this amounts to is that a local authority will have to finance such an institution. The relevant problem is where local authority is going to obtain the necessary funds. If the hon the Deputy Minister is telling me that these powers are merely being included in the Bill because they appeared in the old legislation and that they are not intended as such, let me ask him to move that this provision be deleted. The hon the Deputy Minister cannot simply tell us that because it appears in existing legislation it is also being included in this Bill, without any intention of going any further with it.
Nowadays the provinces deal with certain of the tasks here being transferred to the local authorities, and we should like more information on this from the hon the Deputy Minister because from ordinary rates we cannot get the necessary funding for hospitals and other institutions as set out in the clause. I am asking the hon the Deputy Minister to give us further information on this.
Mr Chairman, I notice that I have omitted to spot that the term “immovable” could also be used in line 57. I should like to have the word “goods” deleted and the word “property” substituted there as well. I therefore move as a further amendment:
This is a consequential amendment so that the term “immovable property” is used throughout.
I am fascinated with the hon the Deputy Minister’s explanation to my colleague the hon member for Hillbrow that this has been taken from an old law. I actually think that this is included here because the Government intends enlarging the powers of local government in a new dispensation. I do not think it is in here because of some old law, because I have never been aware of the fact that asylums are run by local authorities; I think they are either run by the central Government or perhaps by political parties in some cases and in a different context. I think this is aimed at the new dispensation. I do not think that this is taken over from existing legislation; I think it is included in the Bill to open the way in a new dispensation for the possibility of greater powers being given to local authorities.
Mr Chairman, I have no objection to the amendments moved by the hon member for Yeoville.
On the matter of authorization or the different categories of objectives for which loans can be granted, my information was that this would probably be taken verbatim from the existing legislation. I have referred to the existing legislation and I must say that this Bill covers a far wider field. The hon member for Yeoville may be quite correct in saying that this is also being included here specifically to cover the possibility of local authorities obtaining wider powers. This also answers the hon member for Langlaagte’s question on this specific point. We are making provision for the possibility of local authorities obtaining those powers. This has nothing to do with rates, however.
Mr Chairman, this entire Bill actually deals with the terms of reference and powers of this board and the way in which the board may finance its activities. Mention is also made here of hospitals and various other things. I can understand the hon the Deputy Minister saying that the Government wants to have powers decentralized, but what I object to is that if the funds needed in the process have to come from the sources prescribed here, they would be inadequate and would place an unfair burden on taxpayers. The only thing a local authority may tax at the moment is the rateable land in its area. It may also impose levies on certain services. No adequate financial provision is, however, being made here. I therefore ask the hon the Deputy Minister for adequate provision to be made for this.
Amendments 1 and 2 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment standing in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
When this issue was raised by me at Second Reading, I raised it in a particular context. The reason why I raised it, is that we have a completely new local government picture developing in South Africa. We have local authorities in South Africa which do not have the rating resources which old local authorities have. The reasons for this are very clear. In many cases there is as yet no business heart in local authorities. In the case of most new local authorities they have no industrial areas. The majority of people living in those local authority areas actually live in very modest houses under very modest conditions. In those circumstances the suggestion that they might be liable to special rates to pay for these substantial loans, is one that fills one with a high degree of worry. However, if we look at the ordinary local authority, I have never yet heard since I have been in politics of a local authority in South Africa that have defaulted. I do not know if the hon the Deputy Minister knows of one.
We have the proper remedies.
There are remedies, but no remedy such as this has ever been exercised during my political life, which goes back quite a few years. The other remedies that exist, are that you can actually, in terms of clause 14(l)(a), declare that any revenue of the local authority shall be applied to the payment of that amount. That revenue of the local authority is not narrowly defined, but broadly defined, which means it includes the existing rates. In terms of subsection (l)(c) possession can also be taken of any assets of such a local authority. I therefore agree that there are remedies, in addition to the remedy which is available in terms of paragraph (b). It is perfectly true, and I concede it immediately, that in terms of the old legislation one had a similar remedy, but the difference between the old legislation and today’s situation is that you did not have the kind of local authority in the numbers in which they exist today which are being created particularly for communities which are not White communities. In addition to that, the concept in many local authorities today that there is no freehold but only leasehold, is also something which distinguishes the old type of local authority from the new type. Johannesburg had leasehold, but it was abolished by statute, but in a city such as Soweto there is no freehold but only leasehold.
It is taxable.
Of course it is taxable. When the hon the Deputy Minister replies he should tell us if he is seriously of the opinion that if substantial loans are granted to Soweto, which I believe is necessary for the development of this city, we should say to everybody who takes up leasehold title that by taking that up they are actually signing a surety for the loans to Soweto? I think that is highly undesirable. The aim is to encourage people to take up the 99-year leasehold and not to discourage them. That is why I think subparagraph (b) should be deleted because the circumstances in South Africa in 1984 are quite different to the circumstances which existed when the 1926 Local Loans Act was introduced. It is a completely different ball game, and I appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister to agree to my amendment.
Mr Chairman, we in the New Republic Party will be supporting the amendment moved by the hon member for Yeoville.
The hon the Deputy Minister will recall that when we debated the Second Reading I expressed a certain degree of reservation about this particular clause. In fact, I issued a warning that when he and his department have to administer this clause, they could be playing with dynamite because of some of the unsophisticated local authorities with which they may have to deal. Clause 14(l)(b) empowers the board to levy special rates against the ratepayers or inhabitants in the area of a local authority. This has the potential for a lot of unrest. We have seen the type of unrest which has occurred in the areas of certain local authorities in recent times when rates have been increased for various reasons. I think this is a potential area for unrest among inhabitants.
The credit-worthiness of any local authority applying for a loan, should be based on the existing revenue which it earns as well as on its assets, and not on the potential of the people who live within the area of that particular local authority to pay for a loan which the council of the local authority wishes to raise. I therefore think it is wrong that this power should be included in the Bill.
I therefore appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister to accept the amendment of the hon member for Yeoville.
Mr Chairman, this clause is really causing problems.
According to the clause a special rate may be levied and the board may take a matter up with a local authority within 60 days. This in itself could cause problems, because this could possibly be a very difficult time for a local authority. The problem that could arise is that in that period of 60 days the assets of the local authority might be attached. I do not like the idea of one Government body simply being able to attach the property of another Government body. This implies that the Government is very afraid that it is not going to get its money back from certain local authorities. Although we on this side of the House to not want to oppose any efforts to assist local authorities financially, we have a problem with this clause, and we want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister to give serious attention to it.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
Sir, I see the hon member is hesitating. I cannot wait for his question. [Interjections.] The electrification of Soweto cost R160 million, and suppose the council of Soweto wanted to undetake a road-building programme of the same magnitude. Then the Local Authorities Loans Fund Board would be able to say that they had to pay off a certain amount within 60 days. Of course we all agree that any local authority should pay its debts. What, however, are the problems being built in as far as this is concerned? Problems for the system are being built in, problems which would simply lead to this board being unable to function. We are asking the hon the Deputy Minister whether this clause cannot be improved.
Mr Chairman, I think we should discuss the basic aspects of this. What does this Bill provide for? It provides for a board that will control and employ certain finances, particularly to assist small local authorities financially. Any local authority seeking assistance has to apply to that board for a loan. It is a business transaction. [Interjections.] When such a loan is considered attention is firstly given to the assets of the applicant and, secondly, to his ability to pay, his ability to repay that loan.
I agree with that.
Very well. When such a body does not repay its loans, the legislation must surely make proper provision for legal steps by means of which that money can be recovered. We must not forget that this board also works, amongst other things, with taxpayers’ money. Now the hon member for Yeoville says he has never heard of any local authority having neglected to pay back its loan with the Loan Fund consequently levying rates on its property. The hon member is quite right. I do not know of any such case either. Why is that? The reason is that there are proper legal steps set out in the Act and that local authorities know that if they do not pay, those legal steps can be taken against them. The legal steps in this Bill are the tried-and-trusted legal steps introduced in the 1926 Act. They are exactly the same legal steps. So what are the hon members having trouble with?
In conclusion I just want to say that no local authority is in any way compelled to apply for a loan. Any local authority is free to obtain money on the private market, but I can say even now that those private moneylenders would also require security. It would be irresponsible of the envisaged board not to ensure that the taxpayers’ money invested with it was properly covered, there being security to cover it. For that reason I cannot accept the hon member’s amendment.
Mr Chairman, I should just like to deal very briefly with the hon the Minister’s argument. Firstly, we are not in 1926; we are in 1984, and the circumstances are different, as I have tried to point out. Secondly, when one lends money to a company the shareholders of that company are not liable to pay the debts of that company. One looks at the company, and the assets of the company must be sufficient to meet it. Let us take that analogy further. In the new types of local authorities one is trying to persuade people to become home owners, even though one does not give them freehold.
Mr Chairman, can the hon member for Yeoville then tell us who is responsible for the payment of the losses incurred by a municipality on behalf of its taxpayers?
Mr Chairman, that is the very point. [Interjections.] The hon the Deputy Minister should not smile at himself as having asked a clever question. He has not even had the answer! [Interjections.] The simple point is that in terms of the proposed legislation the assets of a local authority are there to satisfy the loan, not so? Secondly, the ordinary revenue is available to do it. In the same way in a company one looks at the balance sheet, the assets and the trading accounts to determine whether the company can pay. On does not look at the shareholders and say that in addition to their contributions as shareholders they will also be levied for the debts of the company. That is nonsense. One looks at the assets and the revenue. [Interjections.] I am saying to the hon the Deputy Minister that he has an obligation now to say to people who are going to become property owners … [Interjections.] Sir, someone is making a noise over there. It sounds like a gramophone, or something, that did not get switched off!
One does not say to people who are going to become property owners: “Please know that if the council, over which you have no say except that you will elect or not elect a particular councillor, decides to enter into a loan, where you have no control, your property is liable because you may have a special rate imposed upon it”. I think it is unfair. I think it is unjust. It has no logical analogy with the one which I have given to the hon the Minister about a company. The debts are there to be paid by the local authority from its assets and its ordinary revenue. To impose a special rate on the property owner is wrong. It is discouraging people to become property owners in South Africa. That is why one cannot support it, particularly in the kind of situation in which we are in where we are trying to encourage underprivileged people to become property owners in order to encourage stability in South Africa. By doing this one is doing a disservice to that concept.
Mr Chairman, the arguments of the hon member for Langlaagte and the hon member for Yeoville really surprise one. They do not understand what it is all about. The present position in regard to any local authority, irrespective of which province it is in, is that if that local authority cannot pay its debts, the ordinance provides for the relevant administrator to appoint commissioners who may then impose a special levy on the taxpayers’ properties.
And you think that is right?
Yes, of course. In any local authority today, the taxpayers’ property is security for any loans negotiated by the local authority. There is no difference here. The fact remains that the property stands surety for the loans or debts incurred by the relevant local authority. When all is said and done, a local authority acts in the interests of property owners.
Mr Chairman, can the hon member tell me which provincial council made provision for local authorities for Coloureds, Indians and Blacks and imposed any additional levy for that purpose?
Mr Chairman, that is a ridiculous question. [Interjections.] A local authority remains a local authority and the same principle apply, irrespective of colour. Why is that hon member now bringing colour into this? I simply cannot understand it.
Oh, is it now colourless?
That has nothing to do with the matter under discussion. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to thank the hon member for Welkom for his contribution. It is clear that he has a great deal of knowledge and experience of this matter. [Interjections.] The hon member for Yeoville really used a very strange analogy. The position is simply that the Government assumes certain obligations on behalf of the country, and it pays for them from the taxes it levies on the taxpayers. This is, after all, a principle we have lived with for generations. The same principle also applies to local authorities. The local authorities are, after all, elected and assume obligations on behalf of the taxpayers.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Deputy Minister what he thinks would happen in Brazil, which is in default on its loans, if the taxes there were raised to such an extent in order to repay all those loans on the due date? Would that country not be plunged into revolution?
It is for the government of Brazil to decide whether or not it is going to do that. The hon member for Yeoville is now using an analogy which does not apply here at all, and I cannot therefore accept the amendment.
Mr Chairman, it is very clear that the hon the Deputy Minister and also the hon member for Welkom, despite all his experience, have not had experience in dealing with local authorities run by other race groups, as we in Natal have had over the years. [Interjections.] I therefore appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister to take heed of what is being said to him today. We know from experience in Natal what has happened to certain Indian local authorities in many, many matters. We are now entering into a new dispensation. In September we are going to have a parliament consisting of three Chambers and more and more legislative and local government authority is going to be given to Black local authorities throughout the country. I spoke in the Second Reading about the rising aspirations of our people, and it is quite clear that in the future many Black, Coloured and Indian local authorities will try to provide those things which they feel their people need and want. We know how easy it is to develop into a “gimme” society. We know the term “gimme this and gimme that”, and politicians are very apt to give their voters what they want.
We are sounding a word of warning, and we ask the hon the Deputy Minister to heed this warning. If a local authority some time in the future should have plunged that local authority into debts way beyond the means of its existing revenue or its existing assets, this particular subsection enables the Minister or the board to start taxing the local residents to repay that loan, and that is what the hon member for Yeoville said. Governments have done this, for example in Brazil. If a board or a local authority in future started to impose additional taxes upon the ordinary residents or property owners, there could be trouble. This is the warning I voiced in the Second Reading of this Bill, and I appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister at this very late stage to accept the amendment of the hon member for Yeoville.
Think about it over the weekend.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 22.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.
The House adjourned at