House of Assembly: Vol114 - MONDAY 4 JUNE 1984
Bill read a First Time.
Mr Chairman, after the pleasant long weekend we have enjoyed it may be necessary to refresh our memories in respect of the issues involved in this Bill.
Clause 1 of the Bill simply deals with the transfer of funds. With that we have no difficulty of course. Where funds have to be invested we all hope of course that the necessary clearance will be given. It is true, however, that we live in the so-called computer age, and therefore transfers of this nature can be done smoothly and accurately. Accordingly we have no reservation in respect of this clause, and will be supporting it.
Clause agreed to.
Mr Chairman, we will be supporting clause 2 of this Bill as well, the reason being the fact that in terms of the stipulations contained in this clause the approval of new townships will be expedited. The townships to which we are referring here are of course those townships that have been proposed by the Department of Community Development. As we understand it, the townships in question here are townships for Coloureds and for Indians, and also of course townships for Blacks. The latter townships I did unfortunately not emphasize fully when I spoke at Second Reading.
We have, I believe, expressed our concern over many, many years at the long delays that occur in township development in South Africa. From my own experience, particularly in connection with the work I did in the Transvaal, I do know that it sometimes takes even seven or eight years before the development of a new township is actually approved. The Venter Commission of course did a fine job evaluating all the evidence given before it. It also came to the fore with valuable suggestions regarding ways in which red tape could be obviated and even eliminated. Although not arising directly out of the findings and recommendations of the Venter Commission, provision is now made for the approval of a new township development to be granted directly by the Administrator. In that manner it will also be possible now to obviate long delays in this respect.
The provision granting the department the right to sell and transfer houses in these townships, we do of course support. We do so knowing, however, that there are certain difficulties. We referred to those difficulties during Second Reading and we asked the hon the Deputy Minister for further explanations in that regard. Strangely enough, when the hon member for Welkom, who was the first speaker on the Government side, spoke, he referred to the problems I had raised and said, and I quote him (Hansard, 30 May):
Unfortunately, however, when the hon the Deputy Minister replied to the debate he said the hon member for Welkom had dealt with all the problems I had raised. Meanwhile, however, no reply had actually been given to the problems to which I had referred. Therefore this Committee Stage may perhaps be the time for the hon the Deputy Minister to react to all the problems I raised during Second Reading. Those problems are not of a very serious nature. I do believe, however, we should iron out some of those problems. That is the reason why I mention them again.
Firstly, Mr Chairman, in respect of the subdivision of land, I should like to point out that many of these new townships are developed on agricultural land. The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act (Act No 70 of 1970) therefore applies. In terms of that Act one cannot divide agricultural land without the consent of the Minister concerned. We should therefore like to hear from the hon the Deputy Minister what the position is in relation to the subdivision of land in so far as it is affected by the Act to which I have just referred. That is the first point I should like to raise. I hope the hon the Deputy Minister will reply to it.
Secondly I should like to refer to a point relating to the local authority by-laws. It could happen that the approval of a new township development could be contrary to the by-laws applicable in that specific region. In this respect I am thinking of, for example, health regulations, as well as regulations relating to sewerage, electricity supply, water supply, etc. Should such a township development be approved, what happens then to someone who buys a house in a township developed in contravention of the said bylaws? Will the hon the Deputy Minister guarantee that the individual who purchases a house under such circumstances will not be prosecuted? We should like to receive the assurance from the hon the Deputy Minister that any individual buying under such circumstances will not suffer afterwards. This is one of the serious problems I can foresee in this regard, and I hope the hon the Deputy Minister will be able to give us a satisfactory answer in this regard.
Thirdly, I should like to refer to the question of town-planning schemes. Whereas the provincial administrations, and even the Government, are allowed to undertake their own types of township development contrary to regulations applying to town-planning schemes, it seems that local authorities have to go to a lot of trouble to have their town-planning schemes carefully designed and worked out, in order to comply with traffic and other needs. In passing I should like to mention that I believe this is a very bad principle because it prejudices local authorities in the process. If a new township development is going to be approved now contrary to the regulations applying to town-planning schemes, and if it is not possible for the local authority concerned to amend its town-planning scheme in order to satisfy the needs of the newly developed township, how will the conflict be resolved which might arise as a result of this?
These are only some of the possible results of the elimination of red tape in connection with the approval of townships. For the rest I should leave it to the hon the Deputy Minister to deal with it when he replies.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Hillbrow has queried certain aspects in relation to the subdivision of agricultural land. Frankly, Sir, the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act does not apply in this instance because we are dealing here with township land and not with land that is to be subdivided in terms of the said Act.
The hon member also wants to know what the position would be should such townships be developed in contravention of the by-laws of a local authority. These townships have been in existence as rented accommodation townships for 10 or 20 years, and the local authorities have been quite happy with them. As far as possible, they have been built to comply with all the requirements of local authorities, although there may be some exceptions. They have been built to comply with all the by-laws of the local authorities. As I say, the local authorities have been quite happy with these townships over the years, and I cannot see them now being dissatisfied with the fact that these townships will now be proclaimed as townships for the purpose of selling the properties.
I want to reiterate that these proclamations will be issued in the closest collaboration with the local authorities. These are not townships of the Department of Community Development; they are the townships of the local authorities and, in conjunction with those local authorities, we shall comply with their regulations, by-laws and requirements as far as possible.
This also is in reply to the third query by the hon member namely the question of town planning schemes. I want to assure the hon member that we had discussions with the provincial administrations on these matters on the Venter Commission. The president of the United Municipal Executive was a member of that Commission and we discussed this matter with them. Not only did they give their approval but they were also very keen that these townships be proclaimed as soon as possible and without any further delay.
Mr Chairman, in regard to this question of the subdivision of agricultural land, the hon the Deputy Minister has told us that these are townships. They are not townships as such. They are townships merely in the sense that they are referred to as townships but they are not townships in terms of the ordinance governing the establishment of townships. That is the whole object of this present exercise namely to establish townships. As I have said, these so-called townships may be situated on agricultural land. In fact, most of them today are situated on agricultural land. In the normal course of events the permission of the Minister is necessary in order to subdivide agricultural land. However, we cannot say that it is a township because, if it is, why do we have this Bill before us? If it is already a township it does not require approval. With respect, therefore, I do not believe that the hon the Deputy Minister has grasped my point.
Mr Chairman, I sincerely hope that the hon member does not wish to delay this whole procedure on a mere technicality. As I have said, these townships, if I may refer to them as such, have been operating for many years as townships providing rented accommodation. There is no question of the land being agricultural land because it has not been so for many years, unless a backyard vegetable garden can be termed agricultural land. There is no question of its being agricultural land and therefore the whole question of the subdivision of agricultural land does not come into the picture at all.
Mr Chairman, I will not delay the matter any further. I hope that the problem will resolve itself.
Clause agreed to.
Mr Chairman, I want in the first place to say that I wish to move amendments to this clause and also to apologize that they have not been placed on the Order Paper because we only finished late last Wednesday evening and then we had the long weekend. However, I did indicate during the Second Reading debate that I had some difficulty in regard to this clause and that I intended to move amendments in this regard.
Let me put the position very clearly. This clause provides that where accommodation is provided either by the department or by a local authority and that accommodation is occupied illegally, the person occupying those premises illegally can be ejected without an application to court. As the law stands at the moment, that person must produce the permission of a person authorized by the Director-General. In terms of what the hon the Deputy Minister says, that has apparently created problems, has led to court cases and has caused delays. The amendment which the clause seeks to bring about provides that such a person must have written permission. Where in the past a person might have said that Mr So and So, an official of the department, had told him that he could occupy, this will in future no longer be possible as that person will have to produce the written permission. The amendment even goes further because it provides that that written permission must be produced within one month.
In the way the amendment has been drafted it gives rise to two facets. The first facet concerns occupation which takes place after the promulgation of this legislation while the second facet concerns occupation which takes place before the passing of this Bill. We are prepared to go along with the Government in so far as the first facet is concerned, namely that if after the passing of this Bill, the department suddenly obtains accommodation and somebody occupies it, that person must produce written permission within one month. Although we are against the idea that the court is ruled out, we cannot argue that because that is a principle which is already contained in the Act. We therefore go along with the idea of a person having to produce written permission within one month.
Our main difficulty and the gravamen of our opposition to this clause can be found in the fact that this is now going to apply to people who have occupied before this Bill comes into operation. What does that mean? It means firstly that the department can conduct a witch-hunt in so far as everybody is concerned who occupies property belonging to the department. Such a witch-hunt can be conducted if the department does not like a particular occupant. The department can tell such a person that he has to produce written permission within one month and if that person cannot do it, he will be evicted. If this happens, such a person cannot even go to court. This is what this amendment means and we are very much afraid that it may lead to a witch-hunt.
The second point is that there may be cases that are pending in court at the moment, cases in which people have legitimately put up a defence. The case is waiting to be heard in court. The person concerned could have gone to considerable expense in producing the necessary affidavits to prove that he has permission, perhaps not written permission but permission in terms of the Act as it stands at present. If the clause is adopted as it stands at the moment, it could lead to the negation of an entire case which is pending. The law can be applied in the sense that because the person does not have written permission or cannot obtain it within one month he is evicted.
The third scenario is that a person might quite legitimately have obtained verbal permission from an official to occupy. This verbal permission he might have obtained before the passing of this Bill. The official could have left the department or he might have forgotten that he had given such verbal permission. The result is that that person who has been there lawfully now loses his right to occupy.
The fourth scenario concerns a person who may be legally entitled to stay there because of the law of estoppel; in other words, that person may have been receiving receipts for payment of that rent. Normally those receipts would stop the department from evicting such a person because having issued those receipts the department has accepted the tenancy of that person. The clause as it is drafted at the moment would also negate the law of estoppel because the person has to obtain written permission.
I cannot believe that the hon the Deputy Minister really intended this. Surely the hon the Deputy Minister or the Minister did not intend conducting a witch-hunt. Surely they did not intend negating the rights of persons who are occupying. We know that there have been lots of cases and lots of Press reports. We know that there are many cases in which the department renders assistance to people who are threatened with eviction. With what are we dealing here? We are not dealing with somebody who has stolen something from a shop, but we are dealing with somebody who is living in accommodation, with somebody who has to provide a home for his family. They are living under a roof. It is not such a terrible crime. It is rather a matter of humanity, a matter of the survival of a family. Therefore I submit we have to be sympathetic in our approach towards cases such as these. With that in view I move the following amendments:
- 1. On page 7, in line 27, to omit all the words after “Director-General” up to and including “consent” in line 29 and to substitute:
- 2. On page 7, in line 43, to omit all the words after “authority” up to and including “consent” in line 47 and to substitute:
Mr Chairman, one has to be careful when one is dealing with a person who is already occupying a house. On the other hand there is something we have learnt in South Africa, and that is that there are people who are not willing to abide by the law and who do not act according to the prescribed rules. In the past the department has experienced great problems because there were people who used the courts merely to ensure occupation for six or nine months to a year, and even longer, and to occupy, in the interim, a house which rightfully belonged to someone else. I am the last person to suggest that the department should go beyond the pale of the law. But the fact remains that no one is being deprived of his rights here. In actual fact the rights of those persons who do have rights are merely being stabilized. There is nothing preventing a person who feels that he has been illegally evicted from a house, from having recourse to the courts. Nothing prevents him from doing so. But we cannot continue under circumstances in which the rights of other people are simply ignored and the courts inundated with cases which simply cannot be heard and therefore lead to one adjournment after another, and all this simply to continue with illegal occupation.
We therefore take pleasure in supporting this clause.
Mr Chairman, I should like to react to the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow. He is a person who we know always acts with circumspection and knowledge when it comes to housing matters. I just want to analyse his amendment briefly to see whether it will indeed have the effect he wants it to have. At the moment, as the Act reads at present, a person may, with permission, occupy a residence belonging to the National Housing Commission. In terms of the proposed provision he must submit written authorization within one month that he is entitled to occupy the house. May I ask the hon member for Hillbrow whether he is experiencing problems with my interpretation of this with regard to the houses which are to be built in future?
No, I accept it.
Then we must analyse the hon member’s objections further.
†The amendment refers to houses which are occupied at that moment and which were erected with the funds of the National Housing Commission. In respect of people who occupy these houses legally, no witch-hunt will be conducted to have them evicted, because they occupy the houses legally in terms of agreements entered into months or years ago. The amendment therefore only refers to houses which have been erected in the past and which are vacated. According to the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow—I do not have the exact wording of his amendment here—the people who then occupy those houses have to produce written authority that they can do so. If they occupy illegally, they must produce this written authority within one month. I think this is standard practice.
*It will be standard practice so that the position with regard to houses which have already been built and houses which are to be built will be brought into line. When these houses are vacated and re-occupied or occupied for the first time, the same procedure will apply. If my interpretation of the situation is correct I do not think that the amendment of the hon member for Hillbrow has any substance.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bellville and the hon member for Langlaagte are perfectly correct. I cannot understand the problem of the hon member for Hillbrow either. We are dealing here with people occupying a dwelling illegally. We are not, to use the words of the hon member for Langlaagte, depriving anyone of his rights. A person to whom a dwelling has been allocated legally and who has the written authority of the department or the local authority as proof of the legal allocation of the dwelling, occupies the dwelling legally and we are in no way depriving him of his rights. Surely the hon member for Hillbrow knows what happens in practice. People are moving into that dwelling before the contractor is able to deliver it. There must be order and discipline.
†This is something which we simply cannot condone. In the past we said that they should have permission, but this is a rather vague term and has been interpreted by the court to also mean verbal permission. People usually speak about some vague person who gave them such verbal permission. We are now substituting the word “permission” in the principal Act with the words “written authority”, and I think this is the correct thing to do. Frankly, I cannot understand the hon member’s problem. He indicated on Wednesday that amendments would be forthcoming, but I only received them five minutes ago.
Yes, I am very sorry and apologize.
I intended castigating the hon member for it, but he has apologized so nicely that I am not going to do so. I accept his apology, but regrettably I cannot accept his amendments. He rightly said that there are two categories. The first category is the category of people who move into dwellings after this legislation comes into force. They cannot move in unless they have written authority. I cannot understand why the hon member wants to give them a month’s time to produce that authority. They have that written authority, that contract, that lease agreement or whatever it is from the moment they move in and are in a position to produce it. That then proves the legality of their tenancy. I cannot understand why the hon member has a query in that connection.
Then there is the second category. I thought the hon member would move an amendment to this, but he has not. The second category is those people who have been illegally living in those houses up to the time when this Bill comes into operation. Those people have one month’s time to produce the necessary written authority and I think we are treating them very fairly. I cannot understand the hon member’s concern for people who are in fact squatting illegally in houses allocated to people who may have been on the waiting-list for years. He displays no concern for all the hardship those people suffer who, with written authority, move to a house with all their furniture only to find that it is inhabited by other people. This is something we simply cannot tolerate. There must be order and discipline and this Bill brings that about. I regret that I cannot accept the amendments the hon member has moved.
Mr Chairman, I understand the hon the Deputy Minister’s regret and I do not mind his regret if it is based on the premise I advanced, but I have a little difficulty with his rejection of my amendments when that rejection is based on a premise I did not advance. I did not argue with regard to the first category of people. I made it very clear that I had no difficulty with those people and I am not moving any amendment affecting those people who move in after the Bill comes into operation. The hon the Deputy Minister says I want those people to produce written authority. I do not want that. He wants it. He himself has put that in the amending Bill. He is the one who is asking everyone who moves in after the Bill comes into effect to produce written authority within one month. Why did he say that I have asked for that? That is according to his amending Bill. Does he not understand it?
The second category of people is the category affected by my amendments. That is the people who have occupied premises before the Bill comes into effect. My amendments relate only to those people. The hon the Deputy Minister obviously does not understand the amendments. Perhaps they came a little late and he has not had time to digest the deep implications of these very difficult amendments. I should like an undertaking from him. If he has a problem with my amendments, will he give me an undertaking and an assurance that those people whose cases are pending will not be deprived of their right to prove that they do have permission—they did not need written permission initially—and will the hon the Deputy Minister also give us the assurance that all the people living in accommodation owned by either a local authority or the Department of Community Development will not be subjected to a witch-hunt, as the hon member for Bellville said? I should like the hon the Deputy Minister to confirm that there will be no such witch-hunt with people being approached and told: “Look here, you now have to produce written authority within one month”. Furthermore, will the hon the Deputy Minister give us the assurance that those people who have been getting receipts for payment of their rent up to the time when the Bill comes into operation will not be interfered with in any way and will be able to continue to live where they are living at present?
I do not want to deal with the argument of the hon member for Langlaagte. He has a different ideological concept about people and wants to get certain people out of certain areas. That is his quarrel. I am not going to become involved in that quarrel. I am, however, concerned about the people to whom I have referred and I should like those assurances for their benefit, because they áre also people with families who must have somewhere to live, and they have nowhere else to go either. So, I should like to hear from the hon the Deputy Minister on those points.
Mr Chairman, I cannot understand why the hon member for Hillbrow alleges that I am a person who thinks of some people differently to others. All I want in this case is that people must occupy property lawfully.
Over the years people have illegally occupied many houses in South Africa. There is a specific procedure in terms of which an application has to be made for occupation. I have probably applied for housing for more people than any other hon member in this House. In the sixties I sometimes dealt with more than 10 applications a week. At the department a form has to be filled in and one is then given written proof that one is the legal occupant. Why can people who have obtained that right, not simply produce the documentary proof that they really are entitled to occupy the house? But what happens now? I have come across cases—this happens more frequently in the case of Indians than Whites—that a person occupies a house and that other people then arrive from far away and cannot move in because the house is being occupied by a person who does not have a written right to be there. The occupant, however, maintains that he has departmental authorization, and the other people have to turn away. Who is being done an injustice? Not the department, but the legal occupant who has a written right and who now has to go back to where he came from even if he incurred considerable expense to obtain that house.
There was a situation in the old Tamatievlei that Coloured families—on whose behalf I fought while I was a member of the Johannesburg City Council—were living in a flooded area while people came from Durban, Cape Town and elsewhere and occupied houses there, which was totally irregular and in contempt of the law and departmental instructions that were issued. One cannot allow such a situation to continue. One is not being deprived of a right if it is required of one to obtain written authorization from the department if one wishes to occupy a house. I have yet to meet the person who maintains that he obtained a house from the department legally but did not obtain written proof stipulating that he was in fact entitled to the house. I therefore ask what rights a person is being deprived of when he is requested to produce documentary proof that he may occupy a house. There is no point in our talking about the “hardships of the people who are in the house”.
†What about the hardships of those people who are entitled to occupy the house but are now sitting outside? How many Indian families are today for six or seven years on the waiting list only because a few friends of Acstop are taking every little case to court. The Government has to go to court day after day and as hon members know it is difficult for a court to decide whether a person is telling the truth when he says that somebody in the department gave him permission to occupy a house, because it is possible that someone in the department has given permission to occupy a house. In any event written permission is now made compulsory and therefore we need this Bill.
Mr Chairman, I cannot understand the problem of the hon member for Hillbrow, but as stated by the hon member for Langlaagte, this is a very straightforward matter.
The hon member for Hillbrow posed certain questions. He asked me if we are going to conduct a witch-hunt. We are not going to, but we know which “tenants” have moved in illegally and who cannot produce documents. After this Bill has come into operation, we will give them one month to produce the necessary documents. He also asked about those who have written authority and affidavits. My goodness, Sir, if a person who has written authority and affidavits is ejected nevertheless, he surely has recourse to law. [Interjections.] The hon member also asked about those who had received receipts. If we had issued receipts to any tenant we are thereby saying that we are acknowledging the legality of his tenancy. If we should eject such a person he has recourse to law. The hon member says this is not a crime, but it is a crime to trespass. It is a crime to deprive someone else of that which is legally his, to act in such an undisciplined manner. There has been this undisciplined action because the department has not had the teeth. Where the department did have the teeth people circumvented the provision saying that the “tenant” had to have permission. Because of this it was necessary to come with these amendments.
I say once more that I do not think it will serve any purpose to argue this matter any further. Earlier in the year when the Community Development Amendment Bill was debated the hon the Minister explained ad nauseam what the position was. The hon member has said nothing to persuade me. I regret I cannot accept the amendments.
Amendments 1 and 2 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I move, subject to Standing Order No 56:
Mr Speaker, I will be very brief. We have had a fair discussion on this legislation both on Wednesday and earlier today. Our main support of this Bill stems from the fact that township development will be speeded up. We want to support the Government in making housing available to the hundreds and thousands of people in South Africa who are waiting for housing and who want to obtain transfer of housing. We also want the transfer to be legitimate in the sense that it should take place in a proper township, that the township should be approved and that registration should take place in the deeds offices in South Africa. Proper legal title should be given to the people.
We support the Government on the question of selling the houses as rapidly as possible. We are aware of the fact that there is a scheme in operation whereby some 500 000 houses are being sold in South Africa. We should like to see what happens as soon as possible because we regard housing as the number one priority in the country, and we will do all we can to encourage home-ownership.
I now come to the argument in relation to the ejectment of people who occupy unlawfully. The provision in this Bill is a slight improvement on that in the Community Development Act where a period of notice of not even 30 days was given. A period of notice of at least 30 days is given in this instance. We note favourably the fact that at least 30 days notice will be given to people. I must say I still have a reservation about the fact that people who occupy housing of the department or a local authority prior to the commencement of the Act and who cannot obtain written permission within one month, will be ejected. I would have referred to have seen some protection for those people because they are already occupying the premises. However, I accept the hon the Deputy Minister’s assurances and I reiterate my sincere hope that all the relevant departments will take note of these assurances, the assurance that people who have been paying their rent and can produce receipts, will not be harassed in any way, nor will they be required to obtain written permission to occupy the property which they are at present occupying.
In regard to those people who are illegally occupying premises, I take the point that they may well be depriving other people from obtaining occupation people who are on a legitimate waiting list. We know that there are people who have been waiting perhaps for five, six or seven years and that they are therefore entitled to get preference to someone who by illegitimate means try to obtain occupation.
I wish to make one final appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister and his department, and that is an appeal on humane grounds. Even if a person has been occupying premises illegally and cannot produce the written authority within one month, I appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister to be compassionate and to give such a person time to find other accommodation. After all, we do not want a situation in this country where people are sitting on the pavements of various suburbs and townships because they have nowhere to stay. I think the hon the Deputy Minister and the Government will appreciate that that is something that we can well do without in South Africa today.
Mr Speaker, I feel we should all be glad that we are dealing with legislation here today which, in my opinion, should have been introduced years ago. Housing is probably one of the most important matters to the man in the street, and nowadays it is also probably one of the most difficult things to come by. What are we doing with this legislation? The Minister is now giving an Administrator the right to proclaim a town. In my opinion the existing methods whereby a town is proclaimed are ridiculous. By simply subdividing farmland one can establish a town within six months. However, we are still bound to legislation in terms of which township establishment can take as long as seven to eight years. The cancellation of title deeds, for example, can be done in six weeks, and the proclamation of the relevant land can simply take place by entering title on the farm land. A city like Chicago, for example, was developed on a farm title. Although the Government is moving in totally the wrong direction politically, I feel that to a certain extent they are still moving in the right direction with this legislation.
The hon the Minister sitting there—I am not referring to the hon the Deputy Minister now—has brought about certain things in his department, and of course the hon the Deputy Minister has helped him. It is clear to me that when there is a Minister at the head of a department who has a feeling for the activities of that department, things go better in that department, and this Minister has a feeling for housing and the interests of his department. I want to point out to the hon member for Hillbrow that four years ago, in a standing committee, I stated that housing was one of the biggest problems in South Africa. The steadily rising costs of housing would force any Government to its knees as far as that is concerned.
What is the situation today? The hon member referred to Indians and Coloureds, but there are 17 000 Whites in Johannesburg and Pretoria who do not have housing. We could also hold demonstrations on the pavements. We could even allow people to mourn and lament on the pavements, people who are living three or four families to a house. Nowadays it is not only Indians or Coloureds who are suffering because of a shortage of accommodation in South Africa. A shortage of accommodation is a general problem in South Africa. In this respect I need only refer once again to Mayfair. At the moment the Government is buying land in Mayfair for Indians. I do not believe that that land can cost less than R125 000 per ha. At that price per ha one can just imagine what the cost per dwelling unit must be. If anyone still says that the Government is not doing anything for the Coloureds or the Indians he is definitely making a mistake.
However, the big problem today is caused by the long period taken to establish a township. Because of this long period a great deal of interest is lost, of course. This is actually a type of inflation that people do not take into account. We can work out for ourselves what the interest on R2 million is, when the establishment of a new township takes five years. In this case the interest can easily amount to 150% of the original capital investment. This is only one of the problems that exists in this respect. By means of the measure under discussion the hon the Deputy Minister is now taking steps to prevent those long delays.
Then, of course, there is also the problem in connection with illegal occupation. This, of course, is also a problem which must be solved. If one wants to be a member of this House, in the first place one must also be prepared to abide by the laws of the land. People who want to see justice done in South Africa will also have to learn that they must obey the laws of this country. For that reason we must support legislation of this kind. Moreover we take pleasure in doing so.
Of course, there is a tremendous need for accommodation for the subeconomic group in Johannesburg. Major problems are being experienced in this respect. I wonder whether the hon the Deputy Minister could tell this House today what amounts are being written off as bad debts because of Coloureds and Indians who cannot pay for their accommodation. I believe that if we knew what that amount was, people would shed tears of shock to learn what sums of money the taxpayers of South Africa have to pay for people who are illegally occupying accommodation and then still criticize the Government for their unenviable position.
We therefore support the legislation. Last but not least, I just want to tell the hon the Deputy Minister that this is a timeous amendment he is effecting to the existing legislation.
Mr Speaker, I thank the hon member for Langlaagte for the tribute he paid to this legislation, and for his special word of praise to the hon the Minister. I do not think the hon the Minister would regard it as a political embarrassment to cognizance of that word of praise. After all, the hon member for Langlaagte has that rare ability, when dealing with housing, to act objectively and to judge a matter on its merits. Moreover, the hon member for Langlaagte realizes that the hon the Minister has placed the entire question of housing in South Africa on a new basis during the period of virtually four years during which he has been handling this portfolio. In the process the hon the Minister has brought the renewal which has been due for so long. Consequently I believe that in this respect, too, a bright and promising future is awaiting us, especially because of the foundations laid by this hon Minister.
†Furthermore I should like to thank the hon member for Hillbrow for his support of this measure. The hon member has asked for an assurance that we would not harass people. This department, Mr Speaker, wants to provide people with accommodation. We do not want to harass people. We want to provide people with accommodation in an orderly and disciplined fashion. Committees of this department and of local authorities allocate houses, and they do so in an objective and scientific manner. The most needy cases are given priority, and we simply cannot allow people to take the law in their own hands and to trespass by merely occupying houses illegally, causing untold hardship to those people who are legally entitled to occupy those houses.
The hon member for Hillbrow also made an appeal to me—he referred to it as the “humane” appeal—asking us on compassionate grounds not to evict those people who are occupying housing units illegally. I cannot comply with the appeal lodged by the hon member. The hon member is of course referring to people occupying houses illegally. I submit that by the time this measure comes into operation they will have had sufficient time to vacate those houses. They could have been living there for weeks. When this Bill comes into operation they will have a further month’s grace. Not only are we losing rental but we are also depriving other people of accommodation who may be far more deserving cases. I think we have been extremely lenient with these people and, as I say, they are receiving a further month’s grace. Of course we will not eject them within that period of a month because they then have recourse to the courts. Once that month has elapsed, however, that accommodation will be reallocated to a person who is legally entitled to it.
Once again, I should like to thank all hon members for supporting this measure.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a Third Time.
Mr Speaker, this Bill makes provision for the establishment of a Department of State for General Affairs responsible for general education matters as well as for the establishment of the educational ministries in the three Houses. This is consistent with what one would expect for inclusion in the new dispensation. This party welcomes this provision and, as I said last Wednesday, it is totally consistent with the policy of this party.
There are certain aspects of this Bill on which I should like to comment and to put certain questions to the hon the Minister for elaboration and illumination as we go along.
In the first instance I want to say that to a very large extent the provisions of this Bill will certainly affect the functions and the structure of the Department of Internal Affairs because, once the new constitution comes into operation, the functions of education will be taken over by the Coloured and Indian Houses respectively. The Bill will also possibly affect the structure and the functioning of provincial councils. Although that does not specifically fall within the ambit of this Bill, one visualizes the possibility that the provincial councils will have less to do in regard to the administration of White education than they do at present. It is axiomatic that if one has a certain measure of centralization in respect of standards and norms with specific references to the norms and standards for the financing and running of education as far as capital costs are concerned, as defined in this Bill, then I believe that the provinces themselves will be affected by this measure. We hope that the hon the Minister will continue to negotiate with the provincial councils concerned and their executive committees in order to ensure that education does not suffer if there is to be a transfer of the locus of power in respect of eduction for Whites.
As far as the hon the Minister himself is concerned, he is obviously going to be accepting a wider portfolio of responsibility for education in South Africa, that is, if the present hon Minister becomes the Minister responsible for general education affairs. I believe that the provision contained in this Bill in terms of which the Minister for general affairs has an overriding control over the three Ministers in the respective Houses is in fact desirable if one wishes to improve education at an economic level and if one wishes to maintain norms and standards that are compatible with and complementary to the education facilities for the three population groups, and I believe that is how it should be.
The hon the Minister will notice from the Bill that in terms of the principles set out on page 5 he wishes to maintain a balance between the centralization and decentralization of education. I believe that this is absolutely vital because, as the hon the Minister knows, he himself has subscribed to the principle that the schools of South Africa must become more and more community based and integrated as a facility or institution within a community as such. In its report, the De Lange Committee emphasized the importance of this aspect particularly as far as pre-primary and primary education is concerned. I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether it will be possible for him to tell the House what steps he envisages taking in respect of the integration of parental control into the school boards’ activities as such. On travelling around the country and visiting various education institutions and specific schools, I detected that the parents themselves are not aware of the new responsibility which will be placed on their shoulders. If there is going to be substantial decentralization of powers, then that decentralization can only be down to school board level and the local community. I believe it is important that the local community through the parent-teacher associations should have a clear idea of what their responsibilities will be for education; not only to foot the bill for education, but also to participate in maintaining the standards, the norms and the infrastructure of the schools with which they are involved. As far as the decentralization is concerned in respect of maintaining norms and standards—I believe this is absolutely paramount—there will have to be some system of control from the top to ensure that these infrastructural standards are maintained.
One of the objectives or principles enunciated in the Bill in terms of clause 2(l)(d)(i) is:
This is something which is to be welcomed, but it is going to be a mammoth task to ensure that this principle can actually be applied in practice. The real differentiating factor at the moment is not a lack of willingness to subscribe to this principle, but infrastructure and costs, and that ultimately comes down to financing.
I believe that if the communities themselves are to accept responsibility for maintaining infrastructural standards, that they will have to be prepared to make a greater financial contribution towards achieving this particular principle. There are of course two things which are certain in life—the one is taxes and the other one is death—and it is going to be interesting to see whether the hon the Minister of Finance is going to be prepared to allow local communities to deduct from their income grants or payments which they make for the maintanance of educational facilities because in the past education was paid for predominantly from the income tax paid by wage earners in South Africa. Now we are going to shift the emphasis for financial provision right down to the parents themselves to make a greater contribution, and I wonder whether the hon the Minister of Finance will recognize the fact that these parents are going to make those contributions. He can recognize their contribution either by reducing income tax, but I do not think this is likely, or by allowing certain deductions if parents pay more for the education of their children.
In so far as the provision of teachers is concerned we need not labour the House in discussing the matter but one of the major bottlenecks in improving the quality of education for other population groups in South Africa is the lack of specialized teachers and actually the quantity of teachers themselves. When we come to the question of maintaining standards, I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether he believes that it will be possible in all three Houses to implement a policy of differentiated salaries according to subject matter. This is something which we have raised when the hon the Minister’s Vote was considered, but I believe it is imperative that if we are to attempt to achieve the objectives and principles enunicated in clause 2, then we shall have to take a very innovative view of education, and that innovative view includes differential salary structures according to the subjects which are taught by the various teachers; in other words, a teacher of mathematics and a teacher of scientific subjects will probably wish to be paid more than a teacher of languages, art or cultural subjects simply because the demand and supply factor will demand that we pay them more or else they are going to leave the service to go into private industry as they are at the moment.
But the teachers are opposed to that.
I believe teachers are opposed to it, yes. However, this is a matter which must be investigated. [Interjections.] Am I wrong? In what respect? If there are no teachers in mathematics, if there are no teachers for the scientific subjects, how then are we going to maintain a high standard of education? I can understand the concern teachers have that the minute one starts bringing in differentiation of this kind then one is going to treat teachers differently. But it is exactly that difference which makes the difference between good and bad education and I hope that the committee which the Minister is going to appoint in terms of clause 3 of the Bill, a research committee to advise the hon the Minister, will take an in-depth look at this particular problem. We already have a problem with the teaching of English. There are simply not enough English-speaking people going into education today. So we find that a large percentage of the teachers teaching English today have Afrikaans as their home language. I do not say that this disqualifies them, but what I am trying to do is to identify a need which exists so that we can try to find out what the causes of it are. The hon member for Virginia may want to tell us what objections he has to differentiated salaries for teachers.
Then, Sir, let me say that as far as the setting of standards is concerned we regard that as imperative. It will be necessary for us to maintain standards within a structure of a committee or board which falls outside the domain of the Department of Education. One thinks for instance of the Joint Matriculation Board which will function as an umbrella control organization for the standard of education of all the cultural groups. That includes Blacks as well. So we believe it is imperative that we should have organizations and institutions outside the Department of Education who will be involved in the setting of standards and norms for examination purposes. I believe it is imperative not only in order to maintain a high standard, but also to bring objectively to the question of maintaining norms and standards. So often there are social and economic needs which also have to be satisfied and quite often we are prepared to sacrifice educational needs to the interests of social and economic needs. Here I think of the very real possibility, something which I believe has happened in practice, where the entrance requirements for certain population groups of students to medical schools have been reduced as compared with the entrance requirements for White students, for example, simply because there is a social and economic need for more Black doctors. I believe that type of trend can be very dangerous for society itself. Hence the need for objective external bodies to control standards and entrance examinations to the various institutions.
As far as the establishment of the other two bodies are concerned, the Heads of Education Committee and Council of Education, we have no difficulties in principle. There are of course always the question of who the members is going to be whom the hon the Minister is going to appoint to the council for instance. Are they going to be representative of all the population groups, or will there be a severe bias according to what the hon the Minister perceives to be the specific need of the council? We of course plead with the hon the Minister to make maximum use of individuals who are not directly and specifically involved in education but who have nevertheless a contribution to make towards educational need identification. At least some of the 20 experts I believe should come from fields other than education itself. Here I think for instance of the professional engineering institute, of people involved in professional bodies such as accountancy, the Medical and Dental Council, etc, people who are well educated themselves to identify educational needs and who can make a contribution from outside the department. Obviously there is a need to have educationists themselves represented on this council. As a matter of fact we expect the majority to come from educational institutions. As far as the Committee of Heads of Education is concerned, this is an absolute necessity. It has in the past proven to be a very successful committee and we trust it will continue with the valuable work it has done in the past.
In conclusion let me say that we believe that once the Coloureds and the Indians take full control of their own departments and ministries of education in this Parliament, you will find that a lot of the grievances and discontent which were expressed previously in respect of the quality of education will start to disappear. I think it will be a very healthy situation when people will have greater control over their own educational needs. This is how it should be and we certainly welcome this Bill and will be giving it our full support at Second Reading and at subsequent stages.
Mr Speaker, as is his custom the hon member for Durban North made a very good and well-motivated speech, and this side of the House wishes to thank him for intimating on behalf of his party that they support the Second Reading of this Bill. He put specific questions to the hon the Minister, and I am sure that he will receive replies to them. The hon member also said that very serious consideration would have to be given to the role of provincial authorities in the context of the new provision of education in the future. We are aware that we will have to work hard at seeking an acceptable solution to the problems relating to this field. He also rightly said that as a result of a lack of infrastructure progress will be very slow in reaching the point where there can be any question at all of an equal dispensation for all in education.
This Bill is really a very short Bill, but it makes one think involuntarily of the words of Neil Armstrong when he first stepped onto the moon after his epic flight in 1969 when he said: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. This Bill will not only have far-reaching consequences with regard to the provision of education in the RSA, but we hope that it will also be enriching to each one who, in the years to come, may experience an accountable education policy and that they will attest with gratitude to the far-sightedness of the legislators of 1984.
If we want to succeed in our intention to look after the interests of all the people in our country to the best of our ability, the education leg of that reformed structure will have to be very solid. If we were to fail in the establishment of a solid education substructure the chances are remote, if not impossible, of succeeding in the plans we envisage and which we are engaged in at present, since the economic superstructure would inevitably crumble easily. By coming forward with legislation of this nature we are simply carrying out a clear instruction. After all, the electorate instructed the Government in no uncertain terms on 2 November 1983 to go ahead and implement the new plan for reform, and we intend doing so. I should like to make the point that an identical measure such as the one we are debating today, could possibly have had the number [B85—79] instead of the number [B85—84], as is the case at present. It could have been introduced during the 1979 session of parliament if at that time the Coloureds and the Indians had been prepared to take one step on the path of reform. The contents of that Bill would not have differed from the Bill we have before us today because we made provision as far back as in the 1977 proposals for the fundamental principles with regard to general and own affairs. However, the difference would have been that “Absconder’s Day” could probably have been recorded sooner than 24 February 1982 in the history of party-politics.
The legislation before us was not dealt with differently from other legislation because it deals with “general affairs in a new dispensation”. The same rules applied in drawing up this Bill, and answers had to be found to the same questions that are asked with regard to any statutory amendment or new statutory proposals, viz: Is it necessary to come forward with this legislation? Is what we envisage attainable? Is it in the interests of the country?
To the question as to whether it is necessary, the reply is an unequivocal “yes”. There may be differences of opinion about many things but all the parties represented in this House agree that the status quo of people of colour with regard to their political, educational, socio-economic and other rights cannot and should not be maintained, and that in the interests of the country there has to be a change or an adjustment. We already settled the question of own and general affairs in the debate on, and acceptance of, the new constitution, and the acceptance of that principle therefore brings us to today’s legislation. It therefore does not stop at intentions or lip service, but we are hereby giving expression to our intentions, as is spelt out clearly in the preamble to the new constitution—to save time, I shall not quote it.
There is another very important reason why we are coming forward with this legislation now. The circumstances and the atmosphere in which we are seeking answers to the problems of this country—and this includes the provision of education—are completely different from those of a few decades ago, and a responsible government will continually have to take this into account, and sometimes even make what could be termed radical adjustments to policy. No one would deny that at present we are dealing with— and that we will be dealing with this to a greater extent at a later stage—a new generation of trained people who are not seeking different kinds of opportunities or different opportunities for their children from those that we seek for our children, and no one would dare to label this an unreasonable expectation. Moreover, this new generation of workers is, and will be co-builders of a better South Africa to an increasing extent in the future, and this group of people is not a non-entity which finds itself behind the scenes somewhere, or which still has to be born. On the contrary, this group of people is in our midst as part of our labour force. They are in our midst as part of the economic force. They are in our midst as part of an increasing professional force—I could continue in this vein. They are therefore here with us. If we do not see to it with their co-operation that each one is given the opportunity to develop into a first-class citizen, we will be faced with the negative reaction of dissatisfied people and, for the purposes of this Bill, with a dissatisfied teaching corps with the obvious detrimental consequences for the provision of education as a whole. The foundation which is being laid in clause 2 is not only firm and scientifically accountable, but it is an honest and purposeful attempt to face an extremely complex problem. It is certainly not a simple solution, but there are no simplistic and instant solutions to the problems of our country, after all.
The next question is whether it is attainable. In other words, will we succeed in determining a national policy for general education affairs within the framework of certain principles? Again the answer is positive, but this will only happen on the following conditions: That all those concerned have a real desire to seek a workable and acceptable answer; that those involved understand the basic philosophy on which this plan is founded; that those involved understand and honestly strive for the goal we have set ourselves in the constitution; that the policy is implemented for the sake of all those concerned, and not at the expense of certain people; that overall planning is right; and that a satisfactory formula be found for the funding of running and capital costs of education throughout the entire spectrum. If we do justice to these conditions I have set, what we envisage is, in fact, attainable.
When one comes to the question of whether this Bill is in the interests of the country, once again the answer is a distinct “yes”. The Government’s declared standpoint in respect of training—for the purpose of this Bill this concerns formal, non-formal and informal education—is well-known and has been stated and debated on many an occasion in this House and outside. With this Bill we are acknowledging that everyone in this country has expectations of the future which we can define in general as reasonable aspirations. By creating the framework in which a general education policy can be worked out we are creating the opportunity for these reasonable aspirations of everyone to be satisfied in the field of the provision of education as well, and I believe that this could be a very important element in our total plan to promote and ensure peace, prosperity and progress. This general education policy will play a decisive role in the future availability of manpower, which is so important in a growing economy, by broadening the opportunity for the provision of education.
When one allows one’s thoughts to dwell on education affairs in the special circumstances in this country, one becomes increasingly aware of the enormous extent of the problem. One becomes even more aware of the exceptional quality of the work Prof De Lange and his fellow-workers did in getting the now well-known report of the HSRC to see the light. One also reaches the conclusion that the HSRC report laid a particularly solid base for reflection on, and the planning of, education affairs in the future. The conclusion reached by the team of investigators is not only illuminating and a source for fruitful debate on future-oriented planning, but is scientifically based and accountable.
Immediately one could ask why the Government did not accept the report in its entirety and implement it when funds became available. The answer is simple. The Government assesses all reports that are laid upon the Table here with an open mind. For any government the ultimate decision would be a political decision, taking the policies as spelt out and confirmed at party congresses into account, and that is why the provisions of clause 2 of the Bill read as they do. I am referring specifically to the framework within which the general policy has to be determined. The Government is hereby recognizing the importance of determining a general policy in co-operation with the leaders in education and ministers of education of the other groups, but at the same time the Government is confirming its declared standpoint with regard to what is peculiar in education.
I want to refer to certain clauses in the Bill. Clause 2(4) reads as follows:
It is therefore clear that the policy will be binding on every Minister of own education. However, this does not mean that a House will not be able to pass its own legislation relating to matters that have been determined as general policy, but this will only take place within the framework of principles, as clearly spelt out. The same applies to administration where there are clear signs of decentralization and autonomy, but taking into account the general parametres of policy as clearly set out. It is obvious that no government would permit the implementation of policy to be in sharp contrast to the declared policy of the government of the day.
Clause 2(1)(d)(i) emphasizes that the Government is earnestly striving for a situation where equal education, standards and opportunities will be within reach of every inhabitant of the country. The fact that all interested parties will have a share in the policy-making agenda and that the provision of education will be based on continued research, makes the chances of success with our plans so much the greater. The question of equal pay for equal work is often discussed. I hear that the hon member for Koedoespoort advanced lengthy arguments in this regard. This implies that there must at least be a reasonable chance that employees must as far as possible be able to produce the same quality of work, and this could only be possible if there were a chance of equal opportunities for workers to qualify themselves in whatever direction. This could be attainable if everything possible is done to make the necessary adjustments timeously by joint decision-making and planning with regard to a general policy. Only then could one bargain for equal payment for equal work performed by people with equal education qualifications, and that is defensible.
This is an exciting piece of legislation. The attention it has been given in this House during the lengthy debate is proof of this. There is nothing in the legislation that had not been envisaged when we debated and passed the new constitution last year. It is pure and bound to principles and an honest but purposeful attempt on the part of the Government to seek an answer to problems, and to do justice to everyone in this country, irrespective of race or colour. I therefore take pleasure in supporting this Bill.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Rustenburg said that this legislation would have far-reaching consequences. Yes, I agree with that, but if he is optimistic about that, I think he is overlooking many facts.
We feel that this legislation is aimed too one-sidedly at manpower and labour needs. The instructional elements of education may suffer because of this, and cultural education may be neglected. Too much attention is given to materialism. In addition, economic prosperity has already claimed very heavy sacrifices from us. Education and instruction are the most powerful weapon of any people. The motto of the teachers’ college where I studied was: “Onderwys is lewe wek”. I maintain that this Bill encroaches upon the most powerful weapon we possess, viz ethnically-oriented education. A view of life peculiar to the Afrikaner is his Christian national view of life and the principle of mother-tongue education which he advocates for the sake of the education of his children. Christian national education is ethnically-oriented education, and thus every other population group will also have its own ethnically-oriented, ethnically-linked education, which is peculiar to it and peculiar to the people to which it belongs.
This Bill, which is going to come into effect in the new dispensation, also makes provision for Black education, if I am interpreting it correctly. However, Black people are not included in the Government in the new dispensation itself—not yet, in any case. Equal opportunities for education and equal standards of education are the order of the day. One can find no fault with that, but there are many things one has to take into account before one can speak of equal quality. Nor must the equal quality be such that those who have not yet reached the desired level have to be met halfway. They should rather progress to the highest level. If this happens, we have no problems with that.
As regards equal opportunities for education and equal standards of education, as mentioned in clause 2(l)(d)(i), I want to say that apart from a backlog in the provision of education, there are also other inequalities that have to be taken into account before one can speak of equal opportunities for education and standards of education for all inhabitants. Everything is not equal, and that is the major problem we have to content with here.
Population numbers and population growth are not equal. Productivity is not equal. The provision of education within each group is not equal. Contributions to the Treasury are not equal. Responsibilities are not equal, nor is the will to educate equal in all respects. The view of education is not the same either. Culture plays a tremendous role and the different peoples have different cultures. Consequently, their culture differs, too, and their attitudes with regard to education differ. Therefore their needs are by no means the same, nor are they equal, but are really very divergent.
Education that has to satisfy many cultures, such as the “multi-cultural education” which in fact filters through here and there in the HSRC report, cannot really satisfy anyone. Cultural uniformity where all cultures have to be studied and where there is then a choice of which culture a scholar or student wishes to pursue is not acceptable to us.
In this Bill the above-mentioned aspects are all regarded as general affairs, finances as well. I ask what is really left at a school that truly constitutes own affairs? Do hon members know what is left? Only the pupils.
Yes, and they are indoctrinated, too, what is more.
Does this justify a separate department for own affairs for each population group? Education as an own affair does not really constitute own affairs at all. All committees are racially mixed, and where are the own affairs about which each House can decide for itself? Every people ought to accept responsibility for its own education, education by its own people, for its own people, ethnically and culturally-oriented. That is what we regard as education.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Germiston District will pardon me for not reacting to her speech immediately. I shall refer to certain aspects she raised during the course of my speech. At this stage there is nothing to which I want to react specifically. The hon member did not really come forward with anything new, and the reason is that it is no longer possible to come up with new arguments concerning this measure in this debate. In fact, before the debate had begun, every possible argument concerning this legislation had already been completely exhausted. The principles of this Bill have often been debated. Inter alia, this was done during the discussion of the new constitution here in this House, as well as during the referendum campaign outside. The White voters made an unequivocal decision about this. It was also discussed in full this year in this House when the hon member for Virginia introduced a private motion on 24 February. Every argument and counter-argument that could possibly be advanced under the South African sun concerning these principles were advanced then, and in the process not one of the parties in this House succeeded in getting its opponent to depart from its fundamental principle.
Fortunately a degree of reasonableness and acceptance of the inevitable did, in fact, prevail in certain cases. That is why we now have the position that the official Opposition, notwithstanding its opposition to the policy that is being given substance in this measure, has changed its strategy this time. This time they are going to try to alter the Bill by way of amendments during the Committee Stage. I believe that this is an approach which represents progress. Now one can test one argument against another during the Committee Stage, and weight arguments up against one another. One therefore appreciates the attitude of the PFP.
Three speakers from the CP have already participated in this debate. The hon member for Koedoespoort was the first speaker from that party. He was followed by the hon member for Kuruman, and the hon member for Germiston District has just made her contribution to this debate as well. For each one who is in earnest about the total South African situation as far as relations between peoples, the economy industry and statecraft are concerned, I must honestly say that their speeches made one feel heavy-hearted. Hon members of the CP no longer listen to arguments. They no longer reflect on the problems of South Africa. They allow themselves to be driven by irrational emotions.
Of course, you believe that integration is attainable.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Kuruman may well give me a chance to speak now. I shall come to him during the course of my speech, too. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, let us put the statement I have just made to the test in order to ascertian whether it is correct. Due to the public holidays I did not have sufficient time to read the speeches of hon members in Hansard in full. According to my own notes, however, the hon member for Koedoespoort said in this House last Wednesday that White education is going to lose its self-determination completely now. That is what appears here in my notes. Coincidentally, those same words were used by a reporter the following day in Die Burger.
I believe that the hon member for Koedoespoort is convinced that that is, in fact, the case. Of course, he has every right to believe that. However, that would simply be due to his refusal to interest himself in the facts. It is because he does not wish to reflect on the facts. After all, this Bill deals only with specific, narrowly defined, general aspects of education. These are general affairs which no one can avoid in a plural society such as that in South Africa. Even if the CP’s dream of homelands for the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians could be realized, the White Government would still have to reach agreement on these matters with the other governments. This would necessarily have had to happen because common interests in the South African economy and in industry would have dictated it.
Furthermore, the hon member for Koedoespoort and other hon members of the CP conveniently ignore the fact that the Government’s policy for the provision of education is set out in a White Paper. From that White Paper it is clear that, except for the few matters which the present Bill deals with, the responsibility for all other matters rests with the education institutions of every individual population group. Amongst others, this includes the entire spectrum of philosophies, about which all hon members of the CP are so concerned. These matters have also already been dealt with in paragraph 3 of the interim memorandum of October 1981. Inter alia, it deals with matters about which the hon member for Germiston District is concerned, for example Christian national and mother tongue education.
Whilst those hon members are only concerned about White education, anyone who has read the White Paper and this Bill objectively could tell them that Whites, and only Whites, will decide for themselves about these matters. How on earth can the hon member for Koedoespoort claim that White education is going to lose its self-determination completely? I think the hon member is saying that because he wants to create the impression outside that the Government is throwing everything it has ever believed in overboard. That is also why he says that this is neutral legislation. That is why he also says in the same breath that Christian national education is not written into this Bill. However, this is a general Bill, after all, a Bill that has nothing to do with the philosophy of education. After all, this is not an idealogical measure. Surely one cannot write a particular outlook on life and philosophy of life into every piece of practical legislation introduced in this Parliament. Where would it all end?
The Government’s policy is well known. It has been publicized, and every right-thinking person would accept it as such; even right-thinking opponents of the Government. I could mention many such examples. Hon members of the CP have so often argued incorrectly here. Their arguments have so often been off the mark, and they have so often been unfounded that if it were not so tragic for South Africa, one would want to smile about it. They confuse equal standards of education with education of equal quality. The hon member for Germiston District did this again this morning. They draw no distinction between advisory functions and policy-making functions. The hon member for Koedoespoort, who is the chief spokesman of the CP on this subject, made a great fuss about the fact that the teachers of each education department, as he says, have to register at the central department. Those hon members have a central department on their brain. What are the facts in this regard? Registration is not going to take place at a central department. What has, in fact, been done is that provision has been made for a central registration body, a body which will be composed of representatives of all the councils of the teaching profession. The function of this body is to determine minimum requirements for the registration of teaching staff and then to deal with the registration. At the same time, however, the door is being left open for the employment institutions of the population groups concerned to lay down further requirements over and above the minimum requirements for the training and employment of teachers within that group’s education. That is the full truth which is conveniently being withheld by hon members of the CP. The Government’s declared attitude throughout is that the quality of existing education will not be prejudiced, but the hon member for Germiston District expressed concern about that again this morning. All declared policy standpoints and measures that have become known thus far confirm the Government’s standpoint. Yet those hon members do not hesitate simply to claim the opposite without motivating their arguments. Surely one does not conduct a debate in this way, and we are not going to get anywhere by doing so.
I now come to the hon member for Kuruman, and I want to deal with him very briefly, since I think one should rather keep quiet about his speech. It was not worthy of a debate on education in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. However, I want to say that one statement the hon member made ultimately gave rise to a remarkable revelation about the CP’s way of thinking. He spoke of a motley blanket which is being drawn over the corpse of education, which I do not think was a very pleasant statement. [Interjections.] Hon members must just be quiet and allow me to come to my point. As a result of that, the hon member for Johannesburg West said that the hon members of the CP were the last ones to speak of a blanket, for look who emerges from under their blanket, and he then mentioned the AWB, the Kappiekommando, etc. Then the hon member for Koedoespoort shouted: “All White, all White!” [Interjections.] Do you see, Sir? This is what those hon members think it is about. As long as one is White, one is alright. Quality, the practise of religion, outlook on life and way of life do not count, as long as one is White. However, if one is other than White, they want nothing to do with one, even if one is an angel from heaven. I say that that is nothing but unadulterated, naked racism. That is why one cannot conduct a meaningful and reasonable discussion with those hon members of the CP. With them, racist points of view are an obstruction to reasonable thought, and we shall therefore simply have to continue doing what has to be done despite them.
May I please put a question?
No, Sir. I am not prepared to reply to questions now, since I want to finish my speech.
In this spirit I support this legislation in the knowledge that the overwhelming majority of Whites reject their standpoint and not a single person of colour feels as they do.
Mr Speaker, it is interesting to note that the hon member for Stellenbosch, with his particular name, said that we in the CP dream about homelands. The problem with the NP is that they are either ashamed of history, or else they do not have a very adequate knowledge of it. I want to ask the hon member for Stellenbosch to read what appears in Hansard in respect of a proposal which the former member for Moorreesburg, who bears the same name as he does, moved on one occasion, viz:
The hon member has probably never heard about this, but these are standpoints that the old NP adopted in the days when we were not yet ashamed to speak about a White homeland, and we were not so stricken with a feeling of guilt due to the fact that we are White. [Interjections.] For the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs I have only this advice: Resign from the Wonder-boom constituency and we shall see what happens there is a by-election.
The hon member for Stellenbosch reminded me of times long ago. After the ASB had held a congress at Stellenbosch, the late Prof Thom addressed us there. In those years the hon the Leader of the Opposition was also there. At the time I tried to read the spirit and the climate that prevailed among the people involved in education at Stellenbosch. After the ASB congress the late Prof Thom presented me with a book, something I still profoundly appreciate. I wrote him a note in reply to thank him. I said to him that he should take note that Stellenbosch was becoming the cradle of the ideas of the late Mr Jan Hofmeyr. [Interjections.] Yes, that was a long time ago.
When I look to my right I see the hon the Leader of the Opposition, with his pleasant smile. I also see the hon member Prof Olivier, and the hon members for Wynberg and Green Point. When I look opposite, I recall that towards the end of the fifties the liberal Afrikaner establishment began, with Cottesloe en Beyers Naudé, to plan these things we see here today. The dividing line, not only among the Afrikaners, but also among the hites as a whole, is being drawn more and more clearly everyday.
I want to ask the hon member for Stellenbosch to go and speak to the hon members for Virginia and Standerton …
What clause are you dealing with now?
I only have to start speaking to make that hon member over there so nervous that he tries to call you in, Sir, to silence me. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Stellenbosch should study the history of the presence of non-Whites at our universities. He must consider the consequences we pointed our at the time and the concern I expressed. I want to know from the hon member for Stellenbosch what his standpoint is with regard to Mr Niek Myburgh. He is chairman of the hon member’s student branch there. I want to know what the hon member’s standpoint towards Mr Myburgh is as regards the throwing open of hostels at Stellenbosch.
At Stellenbosch we talk to one another, and I talk to him, too.
The problem is that the NP only talks. [Interjections.]
As far as the Bill as such is concerned I want to say that it merely constitutes further evidence that the Government is building a political Tower of Babel in South Africa. The referendum has been referred to several times in the course of this debate and we recall how, at the time of the referendum, our good Afrikaner people were told that they need not be afraid, because separateness was here to stay. They said that our own schools were here to stay and that the people need not, therefore, be afraid. As far as the NP is concerned we first have to analyse those things very carefully before we are so quick to speak. The year before last the hon the Prime Minister said in Pietersburg that there were a few non-negotiable things, one of which was separate primary and secondary schools. He said that without explaining exactly what that meant. However, our people were reassured in that way. There was also talk of separate residential areas— please note, not group areas. I want to make this categorical statement: In terms of this Bill absolutely nothing remains of own education. Own education is disappearing, because so-called own education is being subordinated to a higher authority, an authority consisting of Coloureds, Indians and Whites.
I should like to refer the hon the Minister to a few aspects of the Bill …
Do you have the right Bill there, Daan?
Yes, I have the right one here. That hon member is in the wrong country. He belongs in America, because after all, he is the mouthpiece of the Americans in this House.
The preamble of the Bill reads as follows:
The hon the Prime Minister went from platform to platform saying that the composition and the essence of the House of Assembly would not change. The term House of Assembly is used here, but no mention is made of Parliament, as if the present House of Assembly is not the sovereign authority in South Africa. Our people are being misled by the kind of terminology used by the NP. In clause 1, the definitions clause, “Minister” is defined as “the Minister of the department of state for general affairs responsible for general education matters”. By this time we all know—although the Government is ashamed to say it—that this Minister can be a Coloured, an Indian or a White. In other words, own education is to fall under a person who is a member of another population group, unless it is alleged that the NP has changed the meaning of the concept “people”. The hon the Prime Minister said that, relatively speaking, we and the Coloureds are one people. However, Advocate “lang Dawid” de Villiers says that we and the Afrikaans-speaking Coloureds are one people.
You are confused again.
I am not confused. That hon member is confused. He is ashamed of his party’s policy. The education of the Whites is here being subordinated to the authority of either a Coloured or an Indian in a mixed coalition cabinet. This is in conflict with the standpoint of the old NP and with the standpoint of the Afrikaner from the beginning of his struggle for freedom. This is one of the things that the hon the Minister must accept and it is something I shall be saying to him many more times. After all, he is a man for the realities, and I want to say to him that this is a reality which he will have to bear in mind, namely the reality of a people which has no wish to subordinate to other peoples either its system of government or its education.
In clause 2 of the Bill reference is made to norms and standards for the financing of running and capital costs of education of norms and standards for syllabuses and examination and for certification of qualifications. My experience of the Government is that one should not take a superficial view of the terminology it uses, or accept what it says without further ado. My experience of the NP is that they use terminology in such a way that in three months, six months, three years or five years’ time they can change it to give it a totally different meaning. Fine-sounding terms are being used here which are being presented to the public at large in nice, conservative language. Three to five years later, however, they will tell the people what they really voted for. In this way joint responsibility has all of a sudden become mixed Government.
Therefore people cannot think for themselves.
Their dilemma is that there are too many credulous Nationalists and dyed-in-the-wool Nationalists who run after the NP as the children ran after the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The same clause provides as follows:
Are you opposed to that?
The old National Party said, and I still stand by it…
The hon member for Smithfield can say “Oh goodness!” if he likes, but he has many problems. However, I want to say to the hon for Virginia that in the nature of the matter, I want a system of education for the Whites based on the outlook and point of view of the Whites. After that, the standpoint that we have always stood by, applies. Two of the leaders of the CP devoted much of their time and attention specifically to the education and teaching of people belonging to the various Black peoples, the Brown people and the Indian people. Therefore the hon member must not come and argue with me.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member? He made a statement about equal standards of education. My question to him is simply whether he is opposed to the principle of equal standards of education for the various population groups.
That depends on what one understands by “equal”. [Interjections.] The former member for Koedoespoort, Mr Sybrand van Niekerk, said one cardinal thing in a speech here—on which the hon members opposite congratulated him—viz that in the education of a people, that people also determines its own norms and highest achievement.
How does one determine it if one has nothing to measure it by?
But the White’s education is here being subordinated to Coloureds and Indians in various spheres. [Interjections.] The Minister is enforcing equality in this sphere.
There is a further point I want to make. Sir, just consider the terminology that is being used here. The words “irrespective of race, colour, creed or sex” appear here. This is the terminology of the world of liberalist education, and the National Party has swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Colour is only one of the norms when it comes to race classification. Why are other norms not also applied? Why is age not included? Why not use a whole series of additions? These words were inserted in the Bill to liberalize the education of South Africa and in this way to impose in South Africa, by statute, a form of “bussing”.
Do you want equal standards and norms to be established?
The hon the Minister need only go and look at what he himself said and wrote ten years ago if he does not quite understand this matter. I am now speaking about the hon “Homeland Minister”. I want to say that the terminology he used here is aimed at bringing the White children and the Afrikaner children into line with the old educational philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. One could quite probably add America and include Spock as well. The way is being prepared here for totally liberal education for the White and the Afrikaner child.
The Bill goes on to provide—
What is wrong with that?
What is wrong with that! My problem is that if followers who trust and have faith in their leaders read these things they can very easily find themselves on the wrong road. My experience is that these terms are used in such a way that they have to lead to the “new” people that the Government is planning in South Africa. Nowhere in the legislation is reference made to the people. The Government has become ashamed of its people. They no longer speak about a people. They no longer speak about the education of the people. They do not embody it in their legislation. They refer here in the Afrikaans text to the “religieuse”—the term “godsdienstige” is dropped entirely. These are words that the Government is playing with the ultimate aim of bluffing our people in this liberal system of education.
I now turn to the economic demands. One facet of the life of the people is singled out. I agree with the hon member for Germiston District that in this field the Government is building into our system of education a materialism which is totally wrongly oriented. Our teaching and educational approach used to be that the child should be fully prepared for life, and not merely for a single facet that is singled out.
Do you object to vocational counselling in schools?
I do not object to that. Truth to tell, I am amazed that the hon member lacks the necessary counselling he ought to have had in his profession. There are too many hon members who came to this House unprepared for what they would find here, who are consequently misled. The hon member ought to know better than that. [Interjections.] However, I still have hope for that hon member.
You are an old United Party counsellor.
The former hon member who sat behind the hon the Minister also said that, and he is out of Parliament already.
Oh, my goodness! [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister knows he is on the way to the President’s Council.
Moreover, reference is again being made in this regard to a joint say and shared responsibilities. The State has to be responsible for formal education, but the individual, parents and community must accept a shared responsibility and say in this regard. Why is the individual being alluded to here? Is there the possibility that pupils, too, will be involved, as the hon the Minister of Education and Training has already intimated? Will certain senior pupils be involved in regard to this matter? I should very much like to know what is meant thereby.
Clause 2(l)(d)(xi) provides—
As it stands here we have no problems with this, because these are very fine words. However, the Conservative Party is increasingly gaining the impression that the State is making use of certain Government institutions or semi-State institutions such as the HSRC, the CSIR and others at its disposal, in order to prepare and carry out research in order to submit so-called scientific documents with the aim of moving our country in a certain political direction. I am concerned that certain people—I want to refer specifically to Prof De Lange—are being used by the hon the Minister, and that instructions are being given to research institutes, the end result of which is determined in advance. Therefore the bodies are being chosen in accordance with that in order to suit the specific standpoint. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May an hon member cast aspersions in this House on the professional integrity of a person who is not present in this House to defend himself, in the way that the hon member has just done? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Rissik may proceed.
I want to repeat the statement—this is my experience of the Government—that the Government will use these bodies …
Mention the experience.
I am now referring to the report of the De Lange Committee, and I could refer to various other reports in this regard as well. [Interjections.]
That is a shameful allegation.
Oh, really! The hon the Minister can say what he likes.
Is the hon member for Rissik thereby questioning the integrity of Prof De Lange?
This is not a question of his personal integrity, but I call the findings …
A question has been put to me. Please be silent so that I can reply to it. [Interjections.]
I am not calling into question the integrity of individuals. I am speaking from experience when I say that the National Party is one-sided as far as the appointment of commissions is concerned and that before the time one …
You referred to the HSRC.
I am now also referring inter alia to the HSRC. [Interjections.]
I question the appointment of these commissions and their eventual findings. When one considers the names of certain persons serving on these commissions, they are not always appointed scientifically. [Interjections.]
That is a shameful allegation.
That hon Minister can say what he likes.
He did not prepare a speech.
Just leave my speech alone.
Another aspect I want to bring to the attention of hon members is that the education of the Whites is being subordinated to a variety of councils. The one is the South African Council for Education, and the other is the Committee of Heads of Education Departments. In this way Indian and Coloured education, and—apparently—part of Black education are being placed in a position of control vis-á-vis White education. We certainly do not accept these multiracial councils that will ultimately decide on the standards, norms and quality of White education.
What about the Joint Matriculation Board?
The hon member spoke about the Matriculation Board last week. We shall discuss it again at Third Reading.
We had the position that the old NP assumed control of the country and that we followed a policy of the liberation of the non-White peoples. In the nature of the matter, in that process we established, to the best of our ability, the quality and standard of education capable of meeting the requirements of the broad community in this country. However, it was never the standpoint of the old NP, or of the present CP, that we should be structured in specific bodies in which the Whites will not have the sole say in respect of their own education. That is where the difference lies. [Interjections.] The dilemma faced by the Afrikaner community at present has arisen due to the fact that the establishment of which the hon the Minister is a member has been liberalized and has moved to the left. In the course of the debate a year or so ago the hon the Minister made a great point of telling me about all his qualifications he had achieved in a societal structure …
I did not do so.
The hon the Minister did do so. He would do well to go and read his speech. I want to tell the hon the Minister bluntly that he would never have attained those posts if he had adopted these liberal standpoints at that time. [Interjections.] He achieved what he did because he adopted the conservative standpoint of the Afrikaner. The one reality we shall be faced with, in education in particular, will be that the hon the Minister’s people and my people, the Whites, will not be prepared to follow the road of integration. I want to warn the public that this legislation is the prelude to liberalization of education in South Africa so that children and young people must be prepared, from the first level to the third level of education, to become part of a greater whole here in Southern Africa. That is the direction the hon the Minister is moving in. [Interjections.] After all, we have now had the experience in various parts of the country— surely the hon the Minister himself knows about this—-that some of his colleagues invite teachers, in what is sometimes a none-too-friendly manner—if they do not wish to comply—to meetings which are then addressed by the hon the Minister, and in which education is simply stated and glossed over in such a way that it has to fit in with the new nation that the hon the Minister wants to build here in South Africa.
You do not know what you are talking about.
That hon member comes from the Cape; he does not know what is happening in the Transvaal. He should just move a little further north and he will find out. [Interjections.]
I want to refer the hon the Minister to an interesting debate we conducted here in 1967. At the time the hon the Minister of Law and Order was in a very strong position in the Government.
That is still the case today.
The hon the Minister is only in a strong position with the one who is looking at him. I want to ask the hon the Minister to go this evening and read the debates conducted here in 1967 between the hon member for Houghton— the old UP of that time—and the NP. The hon the Minister will note that the then UP and the hon member for Houghton voted against that education legislation. Those fine principles we incorporated in the Bill at the time are now being subordinated to the new dispensation that the hon the Minister wants to introduce.
What an astonishing phenonemon we have encountered over the past few days. The hon member for Durban North, the hon member Prof Olivier and other hon members of the Opposition rise here and support this legislation with acclamation. [Interjections.] These hon members have not changed their principles; it is the NP that has changed. Over the past four to five years the hon members on that side have dropped the old NP principles and accepted the principles of liberal thinkers in South Africa. That is what has happened in this country. The hon the Minister would do well to ask himself why the PFP agrees with him. Is it because they are now supporters of the NP? Why does the NRP agree with him? They do not agree with the Minister because they have accepted his principles. They are agreeing with him because he has accepted their principles.
I want to conclude by pointing out that for the past year or two—and again today—this side of the House has very often been accused of having a so-called connotation of national socialism, of Hitler. [Interjections.] However, I want to quote what Mr J J Engelbrecht, the former member for Algoa, said when he participated in an education debate, and the old UP and the hon member for Houghton attacked the old NP (Hansard vol 19, col 1830):
That is what the old NP said about the then UP. Mr Engelbrecht went on to say;
That is the language used by members of the old UP against members of the old NP and that is the language that hon members opposite are using against us today.
Mr Speaker, the hon the Minister must accept that in respect of every facet of our way of life we shall in future be fighting tooth and nail any effort to assail the Afrikaner as a people and the rights of the White man, and subordinate them to any form of coalition. We now even have to hear propaganda from the house where President Paul Kruger died—but what to President Paul Kruger were principles and ideals have, for the past four to five years, been destroyed by this Government. The hon the Minister is in a special position and therefore he must realize that in respect of every facet concerning which he wants to force us into a coalition with coloureds, Indians and Black people, he will encounter the most vehement resistance, not only from the small group of hon members who sit here, but from people throughout the country. There are two things the hon the Minister will not escape. The one is death and the other is the truth. I say that the truth is catching up with the NP, and their end will come quicker than they think.
Mr Speaker, it was an unpalatable experience, as it has for the most part been lately, to listen to the hon member for Rissik. If it is a question of the truth, then one of the truths which are still going to catch up with that hon member—for up to now he has displayed no ability to recognize them—is the truth of the verdict of the voters when they accepted a new principle in the constitutional set-up of this country by an overwhelming majority, the principle that matters of common or general concern would be considered by way of co-responsibility or joint decision-making. Consequently, he can rave and bluster and carry on as much as he likes; he can also utter threats about what he is going to do in future. But we are stating facts that are already clear and well-known; facts which have already emerged clearly, ie the facts of the verdict of the voters themselves, which also form the basis of the principles contained in this Bill. These are that decisions on certain matters of general or common concern in regard to all the separate population groups must be reached by way of shared responsibility or joint decision-making. This is a truth which that hon member will have to begin to accept if he wishes to make any meaningful contribution to the political process of this country in future.
It was a very strange speech indeed which the hon member for Rissik made here, after the long weekend. For the most part he quoted from the Bill. Then, by way of comment, he uttered a whole lot of absurdities— unprepared absurdities—with reference to what he had quoted from the Bill. What he said was so far removed from the sphere of logical argument and reasonable inferences from the Bill that it would be a waste of the time of this House to go into it any further.
His mind is not functioning all that well any more.
However, I want to draw the attention of hon members to the fact that what the hon member for Rissik really succeeded in doing …
Order! Which hon member, with reference to the hon member for Rissik, said that his head was not functioning all that well any more?
Mr Speaker, I said it.
Order! The hon member for Rustenburg must withdraw it.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.
For want of arguments and logical inferences from the bill, from which he quoted to us here, the hon member came forward with objectionable and unfair attacks on the integrity of at least three organizations. As he has done previously in this House, the hon member argued in the first place that this was a government which one should not judge according to its declared policy, but was a government which was going to mislead one, which was going to hoodwink one, which told people one thing today, and did something else tomorrow. This was the objectionable first statement the hon member made here, one which he elaborated on. According to him, this is a government which is bent on misleading credulous people. I reject that accusation of his. It is a slur on the political integrity of hon members of this side of the House.
The hon member was not satisfied with that, however, for in the second place he resorted to what was to me truly an astounding illustration of bad parliamentary taste. He was guilty of casting aspersions here on the professional and scientific integrity of researchers. He did so with specific reference to the HSRC, and said that they were people who were being used by the Government or by Ministers to do research and were coming forward with findings that had been concocted in advance. I reject that accusation with contempt. [Interjections.] I reject it with contempt, and I want to add that this country is filled with gratitude and pride by the extremely sensitive way and the large measure of objectivity with which researchers in the human sciences, which is a very difficult sphere, set about their task in a truly objective and scientific way in discharging their responsibilities. From time to time they also carry out assignments from the Government with the same sensitivity and objectivity. On behalf of this House I therefore reject with contempt the accusation of the hon member for Rissik levelled at the integrity of the HSRC and the researchers of that organization.
In the third place, the hon member was still not satisfied with that, for he took it even further. He also saw fit to impugn the integrity of the hon the Minister of Law and Order by saying that that hon Minister only stood firmly by a person who looked after him and who took care of him. [Interjections.] The hon member for Rissik therefore implied that the hon the Minister of Law and Order did not have the courage of his political convictions to adhere to his standpoint, but that he allowed himself to be manipulated for the sake of the personal benefits he was able to derive from politics. [Interjections.] It is a pity, Mr Speaker, that when such an important matter as the education and the training of the youth of the respective population groups of this country is being debated, the hon member allowed himself to lower the debate to such an extremely deplorable level right at the outset. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I should like to convey my sincere thanks to those hon members on this side of the House who supported the Bill for doing so. I am referring to the hon member for Virginia, as well as to the hon members for Gezina, Kimberley North, Johannesburg West, Rustenburg and Stellenbosch.
Hon members correctly indicated that this was an extremely important debate and that we were introducing an important new principle into our education, a principle that in respect of the separate education systems for the various population groups, which in the past functioned entirely without any co-ordination or any form of overall standards and norms, it is now recognized that a new structure is now being established on that basis in terms of which a certain minimum was being specified in respect of common norms and standards as a general affair. This is indeed a new principle. It is a principle which ensues from the new constitution and it is a principle in terms of shared responsibility and joint decision-making on general affairs which was in fact also ratified in the referendum by the voters. As hon members of the official Opposition also said, it is a principle which rests on the declared policy of the Government of the separateness of the various education systems. This is an important point, and hon members on this side again emphasized that matter very clearly. The degree of co-ordination and the degree of generally applicable policy directives in the three defined areas; of finance, staff matters and examination and certification takes place in respect of systems which remain separate and which retain their self-determination over their education as an own affair by means of their own governmental structures and their own departmental and administrative structure.
The hon member for Virginia also emphasized an important point, namely that the establishment of equal opportunities and equal standards in education for all the various population groups did not inevitably imply education of equal quality for all. It requires a special effort from every population group in terms of its pupils, its teachers and education administrators to build up to equal quality on that basis as equal opportunities and equal standards become a reality for everyone. The State cannot give a community education of equal quality. It can only offer that community the opportunities and standards, on which the community itself must ultimately build towards that equal quality. I am pleased that the hon member emphasized that point.
The hon member for Gezina correctly pointed out that the Bill made provision for a broad framework within which education financing for each education department would be regulated. He also pointed out that this would not detract from the fact that in the sphere of financing and the details of budgetary allocation, too, each education department and authority would continue to have the right of self-determination to decide, within those broad guidelines, how and where it would spend its finances, to what services it would give preference and what services it was going to curtail in order to expand at other points, with the proviso, however, that this would be subject to the norms established by way of general legislation.
The hon member for Kimberley North and the hon member for Johannesburg West both dealt very effectively with the political misrepresentations which came from the hon members for Koedoespoort and Kuruman, and I want to thank them sincerely for doing so.
I also want to convey my thanks to the hon member for Rustenburg for the striking way in which he drew to the attention of this House that if the 1977 constitutional proposals of the NP had been accepted at the time by the Coloured and the Asians, this legislation could then have borne the date 1979, and that as regards the fundamental principles on which it is based, those fundamental principles already originate in the 1977 constitutional proposals of the NP.
I also want to thank the hon member for Stellenbosch sincerely for the way in which he exposed various fallacious arguments and particularly for the way in which he pointed that it was with dismay that hon members of the House had heard that racist remark “Everything is White” in this House.
I also want to express my sincere thanks to the speakers of the Official Opposition, as well as the hon member for Durban North who spoke on behalf of the NRP, for supporting the principle of this Bill. I have all the more reason for doing so because the hon member Prof Olivier and the hon member for Pinetown both pointed out that, while they supported this Bill, they continued to emphasize that the basis on which it was constructed, namely separate education departments and separate schools and separate education system for the various population groups, was not acceptable to them. This side of the House and I therefore appreciate all the more that they support that part of the policy of the Government which finds expression in the Bill, in spite of the fact that it is related to principles with which they do not agree.
I should like to tell the hon member Prof Olivier and the hon member for Pinetown that I agree with them that the educational authorities of self-governing national states should also be involved in the negotiations in order, as far as it is possible, to involve them, too, in the norms and standards that will be laid down here in respect of the Republic of South Africa exclusive of the national states. However, those self-governing national states do not at present have full authority over their education and for that reason the Government has not deemed it desirable or practicable to make provision in the legislation at this stage for the eventual establishment of liaison mechanisms with the self-governing national states. Negotiations have to be held with them. In fact, the Department of Education and Training has already received instructions from the Government to conduct those negotiations.
I want to go even further and express the hope that in future, in view of the interdependence which exists between the various countries of South Africa, particularly in the sphere of labour, the Government of the Republic of South Africa will succeed, by way of negotiation, in arriving at a consensus or agreement with independent states on our borders in order to ensure that, particularly as far as standards of examination and certification are concerned, the same standards will be complied with on both sides of the border.
Furthermore, both the hon members to whom I have just referred, emphasized the desirability that these new bodies, the SA Council for Education and the Committee of Heads of Education Departments, should be required to report annually to Parliament. I should like to accept that suggestion, and if the hon members wish to introduce an amendment during the Committee Stage, I shall gladly accept it. I invite them to formulate something like this in co-operation with my department. I think it is a very good suggestion, and I thank the hon members for it.
†The hon member for Pinetown pointed out that the original well-sounding terms of the De Lange report of a purposeful endeavour towards equal opportunities and equal standards, had been replaced by the rather more prosaic formulation that these two goals will be strived after. In this regard I have to point out that according to our legal advisers the original words were not specific enough and therefore what I too personally regarded as a more impressive-sounding formulation was changed to one which is more legalistically correct but I am afraid is also a bit more prosaic.
*The hon member for Pinetown also asked for more specific provision to be made in the Bill for the procedure which has to be followed if a specific own authority structure wishes to deviate from the principle of own schools and wishes to throw open its facilities to members of other population groups. That matter is fully and clearly regulated in paragraph 14 of Schedule 1 to the Constitution Act, and the law advisers are of the opinion that it ought not to be repeated in this Bill.
The hon member for Pinetown also requested that the SA Council for Education should have its own secretariat and that it should therefore be vested with a large measure of independence. The idea is that it should indeed be an independent council, but I think that its independence will in the first place depend on the question which the hon member for Durban North also asked, namely the one in connection with the calibre of the people appointed to it. I want to give the assurance that the intention is indeed to appoint to the council people who, as far as education and training are concerned, as well as from a broader perspective, are able to think independently. As is stated in the White Paper, the Government is of the opinion that in exactly the same way as the Advisory Council for Universities and Technikons, which is also a very independent body, nevertheless has its secretariat at the department, this body should also keep its secretariat at the department. We are not prepared to deviate from this point.
The hon member also asked a question in connection with the recognition of teachers’ associations which consist of members of more than one population group. It is the standpoint of this side of the House that since education is a service which is offered for a specific population group, it is desirable that teachers’ associations shall consist of members of the specific population group concerned. If the education authorities of another population group should decide otherwise in regard to this matter, it is a matter which they will have to decide in terms of their self-determination over their own affairs.
I should now like to come to the remarks made by hon members of the CP. The hon member for Koedoespoort kindly pointed out to me that he would be prevented from returning in time for today’s debate. I accept his polite excuse, but he will not take it amiss of me if I try to deal with a few of the points which he raised. He had quite a lot to say about the standpoint that the determination of quality and standards in fact has a limiting effect. He said inter alia:
With all due respect, I think this is a nonsensical remark. I quote further:
I told the hon member for Rissik that he was confused about this, and the same is also true of the hon member for Koedoespoort. The hon member for Koedoespoort confuses a criterion, an instrument of measurement, with the achievements which are being measured. The intention of the setting of equal norms and standards in regard to examinations and certification is that a 75% achievement or an A symbol in each of the various education departments must mean the same and that one does not therefore in the one case, on the basis of a specific achievement, receive a 10% and in the other department possibly a 50% point for the same achievement. This is what equal norms and standards mean. Whether the people in the various education departments attain the same level of achievement, has nothing to do with the norm or the standard, because the norm or the standard simply measures the achievement. Whether they attain the same level of achievement depends on the quality of the people who are there, the quality of education which is being produced, and on many other circumstances. It is therefore quite possible that provided the standards and norms for measuring purposes are the same in the case of all the departments, many more candidates are going to succeed in achieving a distinction or a first-class pass in one specific department than the case is going to be in another department. What we must do, however, is to measure the achievements of everyone by the same criterion, by the same yardstick, by the same measure. If those hon members cannot understand such a simple fact, it is clear to me that they cannot understand the whole meaning of this Bill. People who cannot perceive the difference between a measuring instrument and the achievement which is being measured, ought not to be sitting in a House such as this and ought not to be participating in a debate on legislation on a specific matter.
The hon member for Koedoespoort, the hon member for Kuruman and now, too, the hon member for Rissik all made the same wild allegation that this Bill was going to bring about integrated education. I think it is necessary for one to take another look at precisely what the word “integrated” means, because it is very clear that hon members of the CP equate any form of contact between people of various population groups with integration. According to the argument which they advance, they are integrated with their domestic servants or their gardeners. I think that in the sphere of relationships between peoples and population groups in South Africa one can only use the concept of “integration” if an intermingling occurs by means of which a specific group loses its identity or by means of which a specific group loses its separate structures in which it governs and realizes itself, and all groups are therefore thrown together into an undifferentiated unitary society or into a political unitary structure. That is integration. However, when one develops a system in which the various education systems for the various population groups are separate—and that is the very aspect the hon members of the official Opposition are criticizing—and one then establishes points of contact or meeting points in order to apply common norms and standards in the three spheres of finance, staff provision and examination, surely it has absolutely nothing to do with what any intelligent person, any person who knows the ordinary use of words, would take the word “integration” to mean.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister whether the new Government system is a unitary structure?
Of course it is not a unitary structure. It is not a unitary structure because it is based on the recognition—and that is why the hon members of the official Opposition opposed the constitution at the referendum—of various population groups which have made their own residential areas and school systems an integral part of their own social structures and which are also participating in politics as separate population groups. If that is a unitary state, I cannot really conduct a meaningful discussion with those hon members using words which have the same symbolic value. I should therefore like to make an appeal to hon members that we should, for the sake of the people to whom the hon member for Rissik referred, the credulous people outside towards whom we have a responsibility because we have to provide them with guidance and information, that we should for the sake of our voters outside use these words correctly and precisely and not hurl them across the floor of this House in this reckless and irresponsible way, as happened here.
Furthermore, in regard to the whole question of equal standards, the hon member for Koedoespoort expressed his grave concern in regard to the salary aspect. I quote what he said:
What is the position at present? Since 1975 already the position has been that the conditions of employment and salaries for the education systems of all the various population groups have been centrally determinded and that they have in fact been placed on the same basis. I want to remind this House that the present Vice State President, Mr Schlebusch, led a Cabinet Committee in 1975 which proposed a parity programme which the Cabinet accepted in 1976 and which was announced by Minister Schlebusch in the discussion of his Vote in this House. That was in 1976. The hon members of the CP will remember where they were at the time. It was said at the time that as far as education was concerned, for example, the teachers of all the various population groups would have the same conditions of employment, that they would be placed on the same key scales and that they would—in so far as they were fully qualified in a professional sense, that is, in so far as they had had at least three years training as teachers after Std 10—attain progressively, in phases, a phase of salary parity with the Whites. That policy was introduced and implemented when the hon member for Lichtenburg and the hon member for Waterberg were both members of the Cabinet. They were introduced step by step at university level until eventually all lecturers at universities up to the level of junior lecturer received the same salary from the Exchequer, and this was determined by way of central decision-making. It was also prescribed for all the departments. It was not possible to deviate from this procedure. In the second place, as far as teaching staff was concerned, parity was introduced step by step between 1980 and 1982 for fully qualified teachers of the various population groups in respect of whom parity had at that stage not yet been introduced. It was first introduced for chief inspectors, subsequently up to the level of departmental head and eventually to post level one, the ordinary teacher, provided the teacher was fully qualified and had received at least three years training after Std 10. This is a policy which hon members of the Conservative Party all helped to carry through and with which they had no problem at the time. The hon member for Waterberg was the Minister responsible for State Administration and then had every opportunity to change it. However, he had no problems with it. In fact, he said here in this House that as far as the Public Service in general was concerned, too, the basic principle was one of merit and that preference should be given to using people from the various population groups to render service to their own specific population group. This is a standpoint from which the hon the Minister for Education and Training drew the logical conclusion last Wednesday by saying that it had created opportunity for accommodation right up to the level of a head of a department responsible for education for Blacks. That is the policy which the hon member for Waterberg also carried through. The fact that top-level decision-making will in future take place by way of shared responsibility and joint decision-making among Whites, Asians and Coloureds does not detract in any way from the setting of the same standards and norms in regard to salaries, conditions of service and employment. However, it does not affect the self-determination and own decision-making of a specific department. As long as the department abides by the prescribed salaries and the minimum requirements laid down for appointing a person to a specific level, that department decides, on the basis of its own self-determination, which teachers it wishes to appoint and train for a post and how the teachers should be controlled and what directives should be given to them. As long as the students are able to comply with the prescribed examination requirements and pass the examination successfully, the details of the syllabus and the entire implementation of education by each population group’s own decision-making bodies can be carried out completely autonomously in the exercising of their self-determination.
It is therefore nonsensical to imply here that the introduction of a general policy in respect of salaries and conditions of employment is a new principle. It is an old principle which hon members of the CP always supported, but which has now frightened them out of their wits.
I should like to expose another point in the argument of the hon member for Koedoespoort. The hon members for Johannesburg West and Gezina also referred to this. However, I want to emphasize this once again, because the hon member for Germiston Distract also referred to it this morning. It is the charge—for the purpose of short-term political gain which has nothing to do with the reality of politics—that in this Bill the evidence can be seen that the Government has thrown overboard the principles of Christian National and mother tongue education, as well as of ethnically-and cultural-oriented education. However, the hon member for Koedoespoort talked himself into a corner with this argument when he implied that in this legislation, legislation in respect of general education policy, he expected provisions based on a specific philosophy of life. The hon member intimated that he expected that, in regard to cultural heritage and a philosophy of life, directives should be laid down by way of general law by people from all the various groups which would be binding upon everyone. This is completely at variance with the policy which he supported when he was a member of this party and which this party still endorses, the policy that the factors underlying an outlook on life, an educational philosophy and cultural ties comprise an own affair in regard to which laws shall only be made by the House of that specific population group within the self-determination of education. There is already such an Act in respect of education for Whites, namely the National Education Policy Act of 1976, to which hon members have already referred. In that act those factors are very clearly spelt out. In the interim memorandum on the HSRC report which was released in 1981 and which was inter alia endorsed by the hon members for Waterberg and Lichtenburg, the Government stated very clearly and unequivocally that it would abide by the Christian and National principles of education.
Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.
Mr Speaker, when we adjourned for lunch I was dealing with an accusation by the hon member for Koedoespoort. It was the last of his distorted statements on this Bill, and I should like to deal with it further. He made the accusation that the principles of Christian-National, mother tongue and culturally-oriented education were all going by the board in this Bill. According to him these are not an integral part of this Bill and, therefore, as far as the Whites are concerned, no longer exist. The same argument was advanced by the hon member for Rissik and the hon member for Germiston District, who specifically pointed out that this legislation was allegedly guilty of a kind of neutrality which could be associated with the concept of “multicultural” and “cultural uniformity”. I indicated that it would be entirely unconstitutional to make laws on education by way of general legislation that reflected a specific philosophy of life. There is no doubt that the Constitution is quite emphatic about this. In Schedule 1, paragraph 2, it is expressly stated that education as an own affair is subject to general laws only in regard to financial matters, staff matters and standards of examination and certification. It would be entirely in conflict with the principles of this side of the House to make legislative pronounciations other than by way of own legislation by the separate, competent Government bodies on education based on a specific outlook on life, a philosophy of education and a culture.
I would remind hon members of the the interim memorandum released by the Government in October 1981 together with the HSRC report. In the interim memorandum the Government made it very clear what its standpoint was in respect of the more philosophical lewensbeskoulike educational principles. I am quoting from paragraph 3.1 of that interim memorandum:
That is to say the HSRC report:
And it then goes on to add:
In other words, this kind of matter is a matter which each population group must deal with itself as an own affair in terms of its right of self-determination through its own organs in regard to its own education. In terms of this declaration of Government policy at the time, which was also subscribed to by hon members of the CP when they were still on this side, the principles formulated in section 2 of the National Education Policy Act still stand in respect of White education, and will continue to stand, as the Government expressly stated here, and as it also reiterated last year in its White Paper. I want to remind hon members that that law is not merely a general law; it is a law in which, under the definition of “education”, it is expressly stated that it means education and training that is provided to Whites.
In section 2 of that Act it is made very clear that the education policy that has to be formulated, shall be formulated within the framework of certain principles. I want to quote the principles, because these are principles in regard to which hon members opposite now wish to sow doubt. I am quoting the first principle:
This is how it was formulated in 1967; this is how it stands now and this is how it will remain. I shall quote another principle, as it occurs in paragraph (b):
The next principle, as contained in paragraph (c) is:
These are the three principles which found expression in the National Education Policy Act, which was spelt out in detail in various policy statements by my predecessors on the advice of the bodies concerned and which were clearly confirmed and ratified as Government policy in terms of the interim memorandum of 1981 and also in the White Paper of 1983.
If one reads the interim memorandum, one finds that it does not deal only with the Christian and broad national character of education, but that provision is also made for due regard to be had to the right of self-determination of the other population groups. Paragraph 3.2 of that memorandum deals with mother tongue education, and there it is made clear that the Government remains convinced that the principle of mother tongue education is pedagogically valid. However, we appreciate that in the case of certain population groups the question of the language medium in teaching may give rise to particular problems of a special nature. In the White Paper it is consequently spelt out very clearly that this means that in exercising their right of self-determination the population groups may formulate as they think fit a policy of their own in respect of the extent to which mother tongue education should be applied.
Consequently it is a complete misrepresentation to try to create the impression here that while we are dealing with a piece of legislation that falls into the category of general education affairs, the omission of provisions concerning the philosophical aspect implies a denial of such aspect. The fact of the matter is that it would be unconstitutional to refer to such aspects here by way of legislation which is considered to be general legislation, since this is at variance with what I have just quoted from paragraph 2 of the Schedule to the Constitution Act. As far as White education is concerned, this side of the House therefore continues to abide by the foundation and the pillars which we reemphasized in 1981, and we shall continue to abide by them for the future of White education. However, we do not begrudge other population groups the right, as far as these philosophical and pedagogical foundations are concerned, to establish their own formulations in terms of their own self-determination by way of their own legislation.
So much then for the whole series of accusations which the hon member for Koedoespoort made. I do not think that anything now remains of them and that it was a complete misrepresentation on his part to imply, as he tried to do, that this is legislation which would in reality integrate education. That is not true at all.
As far as the hon member for Kuruman is concerned, I should like to dwell on only one point to which he devoted considerable attention. In his argument this hon member had a great deal to say about the point that a student could only be a full-fledged student at a university of his own population group. He said inter alia (Hansard, 30.5.84):
Read the next sentence as well.
Then he said: “The CP says that a Coloured can only be a fully-fledged student at the University of the Western Cape”.
That is correct.
That party, which is now adopting such a pious attitude, is a party whose leader, when he was Deputy Minister, himself created the possibility by way of legislation of admitting people of other population groups to universities to which, at that stage, they could not be admitted. The deputy leader of that party, the hon member of Lichtenburg, the Minister of Education and Training at that time, granted permission to members of other groups to enrol as students at universities intended for Whites on a large scale—on such a scale that it compelled my department to introduce new legislation—and at an accelerating rate—percentage-wise it amounted to a drastic increase every year. [Interjections.] Must this House now accept that the CP, in terms of the admission policy which their leader accepted at the time, in terms of the policy which their deputy leader applied at the time, still want those students to be able to live wherever they wish, to be able to dance with and marry fellow students, and all the other things that were mentioned here? Or have they suddenly evolved a new policy now. Is this suddenly a new policy that has been evolved by these chameleon politicians? Of course I am being reproached for having used the word “chameleon”. However, the only one who could in fact reproach me is, I think, a chameleon itself. [Interjections.] It is therefore a serious misrepresentation of the reality. This standpoint of the hon member for Kuruman does not take into account at all the standpoints which hon members of that party had in fact previously accepted [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, there is just one other statement that was made by hon members of the CP that I should still like to deal with. This also affects certain arguments of the hon member for Germiston District. The hon member for Germiston District said certain things with which I could fully agree of course. In passing she also warned against a too one-sided emphasizing of manpower demands and of economic factors in education. She then argued correctly that proper attention should also be given to pedagogical and cultural factors. The implication of her remarks—just like the implication of her remarks in connection with the “multicultural” and the so-called cultural uniformity—was that this Bill was at variance with the point of departure which she postulated. However, what did we find in paragraph (iv) in connection with the respective principles within the framework of which the Minister responsible for general education affairs may formulate his general policy on the three general affairs? In terms of paragraph (iv) the provision of education shall take place in an educationally responsible manner—the educational considerations which the hon member for Germiston District correctly emphasized—directed, therefore, in an educationally responsible manner and not only at the needs of the economy, but also at the needs of the individual. The inherent aptitude and interests of the individual himself must be taken into consideration, regardless of whether those interests coincide with economic and manpower considerations. Furthermore, reference is made to the needs of society which must be taken into account, that is to say the cultural and other considerations of the society of which that individual is a part, and on the other hand to the demands of economic development and manpower needs of the public at large. Those are the factors which should be taken into consideration.
This is a sensible formulation in paragraph (iv) because it is geared to an educational balance in the provision of education between the claims of the individual, the claims of the society to which the individual belongs, the demands of economic development, and manpower needs. Consequently there is no question of a disequilibrium arising here. It is in fact a very pedagogically formulated balance. If the fear should arise, however, that this does not afford an adequate entrenchment, one should also take cognizance, of course, of the provisions of the National Educational Policy Act, 1967, to which I referred a little while ago, and which still remain valid for the education of the Whites. In section 2 of that Act it is inter alia stated very clearly that education shall be provided in accordance with the ability, the aptitude and the interest shown by the pupil, as well as the needs of the country. No one said at the time that we were emphasizing the needs of the country to an exaggerated extent. With due regard to these things, the statutory section in question provides that appropriate guidance shall be furnished to pupils. It was on the basis of his knowledge of this matter that the hon member for Kimberley North correctly referred to the whole question of guidance.
Therefore in this respect as well the hon member for Germiston District was actually leading us astray. Furthermore the hon member for Germiston District also argued that the setting of equal opportunities and equal standards of education should also be applicable to Black education. If I understood her correctly, she then argued that it created problems to aspire to equal standards in the case of education for the Blacks, because so many facts existed in the circumstances of life of the Blacks and in their educational reality which amounted to inequality. Because there are inequalities in the reality of Black education, however, does the hon member now want us to apply adapted, concocted standards and norms in measuring the achievements in education for Blacks? Surely that cannot be her intention. As an educationist it is surely inconceivable that that can be her intention. Consequently this is not an argument which one should take seriously. The imposing of norms and standards is something entirely different to the achievement which the pupils of a specific community produce and which is measured according to those norms and standards. Even though the educational achievements of persons in various departments differ, the important principle we wish to strive for is that it should be measured according to the same norms or standards. Whether it is high depends on where one ends up. However, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the setting of norms and standards. The norm is merely a measuring instrument, and the hon members must admit that I am right on this score.
In conclusion I should like to come back to the remarks made by the hon member for Durban North when he expressed his esteemed support for this Bill.
†The hon member asked that special care be taken in the event of any changes or shifts taking place in respect of the locus of power with regard to White education between the provinces and the central White education department. I want to express my agreement with the hon member in this regard and give him the assurance that although this is really an own matter because it deals with what happens within White education which is an own affair, great care should be and I am sure will be exercised to ensure that the well functioning educational system in the provincial education departments is not disorganized in the process of any change. In terms of the constitutional guidelines of the Government, an assurance has been given that any changes that may eventuate in respect of provincial government departments will only be introduced after full and careful negotiation and, in the case of education, I think that this care should be doubly underlined. I fully agree with the hon member and I can give him the assurance that the Government will give very careful attention to this matter.
The hon member also asked about the obviously necessary contribution of the community and particularly on the part of the parents towards the financing of the school system. He also asked to what extent the parent would be given greater participation in the decision-making process, also as an expression of the balance between centralization and decentralization which is set out as one of the principles. Here again, this a matter that must be worked out and finalized in respect of the education system of each population group as an own affair. We are not dealing with that now but I fully agree with the hon member that it is a matter of great importance that there should not only be financial contributions on the part of the parents but also meaningful parental participation in the decision-making processes of education.
The hon member also referred to a point that was violently opposed by the hon member for Pinetown in another debate namely the possibility of differentiated salaries for teachers according to subject, and that the scarce subject teachers should be paid more handsomely than other teachers. I should like again to give the assurance, as I have already done, that the Government is fully aware of the fact that the organized teaching profession is opposed to any form of salary differentiation on this basis, and that the Government will not introduce any salary differentiation in respect of teachers as far as particularly scarce subjects are concerned unless agreement is reached in this regard between the profession and the Government. We have in fact asked the organized profession to look into this matter and they have submitted well founded reasons to us, both in principle and in practice, as to why the introduction of differentiated salaries in the case of the teaching profession will cause more problems than it will solve. This is the attitude that the Government has adopted although, as far as university level is concerned, we have in fact as I have also explained in a previous debate agreed to a system in terms of which the universities are permitted greater latitude in determining the individual salaries of their academic staff provided they do not exceed the amount made available in the subsidy formula for salary.
The hon member also referred to the need for an independent status for the SA Council for Education and the other committees. I have dealt with this matter in passing in dealing with the remarks of the hon member Prof Olivier and the hon member for Pine-town. I should like to say again that the status and the independence of this council and these committees is of great importance and I think it will be ensured not so much by where the secretariat of the council is housed but by the quality, the status and the standing of the members to be appointed to it.
The hon member also argued that these bodies should fall outside the department, and I think he particularly had in mind the board for the setting of examination and certification standards. He is of the opinion that it should be independent and he pointed out the danger of lowering entrance requirements for certain fields of study such as medicine in order to meet the socio-economic conditions of particular population groups. I am afraid that his arguments here is not fully convincing because the entrance requirements for study in medicine, apart from obtaining a matriculation certificate, are set at present by autonomous bodies namely the councils of the universities. If there is a lowering of standards of admission in any university in order to meet socio-economic conditions of specific population groups, in other words if there is a sort of affirmative action, to use the American term, this would not be in accordance with what I would consider fairness and justice to all the students applying for places. This, however, is a decision to be taken by the universities concerned, and provided they meet with the minimum requirements of the Joint Matriculation Board and the minimum requirements laid down by the professional Medical Council, they are free to make any differentiation they wish in the admission requirements for different groups of students. I agree with the hon member that this would be an acceptable state of affairs. But I should like to say that the mere fact that one makes a decision-making body autonomous in that one disconnects if from a department of the Government does not guarantee sound decision-making in that case because the universities are in fact autonomous. The implication of his remarks is that some universities must apparently be applying this affirmative kind of action as I have called it.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister whether his department, in the event of a university or any other institution creating such a diversity of requirements for entrance and acceptance, would be able to play a watch-dog role and to take action in terms of the principles enunciated in the legislation?
Provided the university does not lower standards, it should enjoy complete freedom as it enjoys at the moment to add additional requirements above and beyond those laid down either by the professional council concerned or the Joint Matriculation Board. This is what happens at present. Especially in so far as the admission to courses is concerned where there are limited places for students, the entrance requirements are well above those laid down by either the Joint Matriculation Board or the professional councils. I do not think the department should interfere with the autonomy of universities in laying down these higher entrance requirements. The department should only interfere, and interfere effectively, if the precribed entrance requirements are lowered because then it would militate against the whole principle of achieving equal opportunities and equal standards for all population groups.
*I should like to let this suffice and thank hon members of the NP, the official Opposition and the NRP once again for their support. I want to reiterate that the Government has made it quite clear that although this is an innovative step in the administration of education, namely the possibility for the first time in history that joint decision-making and shared responsibility for these three defined spheres of education will occur by way of general legislation and general determination of policy, that innovative step is based on the very clear differentiation of our education systems for the various population groups into their own departments, their own schools and controlled by the separate decision-making bodies, the own Houses and the Councils of Ministers, as embodied in the new Constitution Act. Precisely for that reason I want to reiterate that I have exceptional appreciation for the fact that members of the official Opposition, in spite of this point on which they differ strongly with the Government, have nevertheless pledged their support for this Bill.
Question put: That the word “now” stand part of the Question,
Upon which the House divided.
As fewer than fifteen members (viz Messrs S P Barnard, J H Hoon, Mrs E M Scholtz, Dr W J Snyman, Mr L M Theunissen, Dr A P Treurnicht, Messrs C Uys, HDK van der Merwe, W L van der Merwe, R F van Heerden, Dr F A H van Staden, Messrs J J B van Zyl and J H Visagie) appeared on one side,
Question declared affirmed and amendment dropped.
Bill read a Second Time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
This Bill has a number of important objectives. As hon members know, the Committee of University Principals at present consists of the principals of the universities for Whites, Coloureds and Indians. During the debates on the Universities Amendment Bill last year, I indicated that consideration would be given to the representation of the rectors of universities for Blacks as well on the CUP, after the Department of Education and Training had first provided for separate structures within which the universities for Blacks could promote their specific interests, which differ at this stage from those of the autonomous universities, with regard to the way in which they are administered as well as their financing. This has since been done by the establishment of a separate Committee of University Rectors in respect of universities for Blacks, and clause 2 of this Bill consequently provides for the appointment of a representative of these rectors to the CUP. The powers of the committee are also being extended by clause 3, enabling it to advise the Minister of Education and Training on matters of common interest to the universities. This committee’s expertise with regard to university affairs will henceforth be at the disposal of the Minister of Education and Training as well, since he will also be able to refer matters to the committee for its advice. Consequently it is necessary that the definition of “university” be amended in order to include universities for Blacks under section 7(b) of the Act, which deals with the powers of the CUP.
Clause 10 authorizes the directors of technikons falling under the Department of Education and Training to attend meetings of the Committee of Technikon Principals, but without the power to vote. At the moment there is only one such technikon. As the technikons for Blacks obtain greater autonomy, the way in which their directors are represented on this body can be reconsidered.
†My department has conducted a study into the objectives, structure and operation of the post-secondary educational system with a view to investigating its interaction with other systems in the community and also the interaction between universities and other post-secondary educational institutions. This study revealed the variety of statutory provisions in the private Acts of universities dealing with this matter. These provisions cover the admission to equal status of graduates from other universities; admission to candidateship for post-graduate study of persons who have passed examinations at another university or institution or who have achieved an adequate standard of proficiency; links or co-operation with other institutions of higher education; recognition of training by such other institutions; and agreements between the universities and provincial, educational and other authorities in connection with the training of students.
The present variety of statutory provisions in the Private Acts of universities that regulate these matters, and the growing need of universities to interact with other tertiary institutions such as technikons, colleges of education, nursing colleges and certain theological institutions, have occasioned constant amendments to the Private Acts of the universities. In order to eliminate these constant amendments, I have decided, after consultation with the Committee of University Principals and with the individual universities, that the provisions in the Private Acts of universities regulating interaction between universities and other institutions should be consolidated and included in the Universities Act of 1955. This consolidating amendment, which is embodied in clause 4 of this amendment Bill, should be seen as a step in the rationalization of legislation. It means that corresponding provisions in the Private Acts of universities have to be repealed or else amended in appropriate fashion, as set out in the schedule to this amendment Bill. The definition of “Minister” is amended so that the Minister of Internal Affairs can approve agreements of the type contemplated in the proposed section 10B without consulting with the Minister of National Education, while a consequential amendment of section 1A of the National Education Policy Act of 1967 is also proposed.
*In terms of section 15 of the Universities Act, 1955, the Joint Matriculation Board has the power to issue matriculation certificates to successful candidates at the examination who have attained such standards as may be approved by the Minister, and to issue certificates of exemption from the matriculation examination to persons who have satisfied the conditions approved by the Minister. In terms of section 15 of the Act and the present rules of the Matriculation Board, the board has to exercise this power of issuing certificates if those persons have passed the matriculation examination; have attained such standards in the subjects as may be prescribed by the board; have satisfied such requirements at the examinations as may be prescribed by the board and have complied with the conditions laid down by the board.
As a result of irregularities during the writing of certain school-leaving examinations in 1981, the Matriculation Board found that the results in certain subjects could not be accepted. The examination was rewritten by some candidates, but others refused to sit for a re-examination. No certificates were issued to these candidates, and they challenged this action in court. The Supreme Court found that the Matriculation Board did not have the discretion in law to withhold a certificate in cases of examination irregularities if all the abovementioned conditions had been met.
Mr Speaker, hon members will agree with me that the evil of examination irregularities has to be eradicated. It is essential, therefore, that the Matriculation Board be given the statutory power it requires to perform effectively its function of conducting and controlling the matriculation examination of the universities. Consequently it has been decided to amend section 15 of the Universities Act, 1955, so as to enable the Matriculation Board to withhold certificates and to require candidates or persons to return any certificate which has already been issued to them in order to have it cancelled, if, in the opinion of the Matriculation Board, a substantial irregularity has occurred at or in relation to any sitting for examination, which irregularity does not justify the issuing of a certificate. This measure will help to combat irregularities and to safeguard the standing and credibility of the examinations and certificates concerned.
In the White Paper on the Provision of Education in the RSA, 1983, the Government expressed itself in favour of the extension of teacher training at technikons in subjects in which technikons are particularly suited, by virtue of their infrastructure and expertise, to make a significant contribution, for example, teachers in technical and occupational and business directions. In order to put it beyond all doubt that technikons may in fact help to train such teachers, the relevant provisions are being amended accordingly by clause 6. The intention is to create new training possibilities for occupation-orientated teachers and not to duplicate the work done at existing training institutions or to compete with them.
During the 1983 session of Parliament, the Technikons (National Education) Act, 1967, was amended in order to give greater autonomy to the technikons and especially to their councils. This autonomy is now being further extended by the amendments proposed in clauses 8 and 9. Henceforth, the council of a technikon will be able to determine the quorum for and the procedure at meetings itself, without these having to be prescribed by regulation.
At present, only the Minister has the power to determine the conditions of service and the leave privileges of technikon staff. The amendments proposed in clause 9 will authorize the technikon councils, subject to the regulations made in this regard by the Minister, henceforth to determine conditions of service and leave privileges with the approval of the Minister.
Clause 9 deletes the reference in section 10(3)(b) of the Act to the determination of salary scales and allowances of full-time technikon staff by the Minister in consultation with the Minister of Finance. Henceforth, directives concerning salary scales and allowances will still be issued by the Minister concerned, but as in the case of universities, it will be done in terms of section 25 of the Act, which authorizes the Minister to make the payment of the annual subsidy to technikons subject to specific conditions, and which has long been used, in the case of universities, to issue directives in connection with salary scales.
Mr Speaker, we are now dealing with the second Bill on important educational matters. As in the case of the previous Bill, there are many aspects in this Bill which certainly deserve our support. Points which immediately come to the fore, and which ought to be welcomed by everyone, include the question of the admission of graduates to equivalent status at other universities, as contained in clause 4 of the Bill. The tremendous diversity to which the hon the Minister referred in his Second Reading speech, and which is embodied in the various private members’ laws relating to universities, certainly entails that there is room for rationalization. I have one fundamental problem in this connection, to which I shall also refer later. Attempts to bring about uniformity and rationalization, however, can only be welcomed.
The provisions of clause 4, which refer to the proposed new section 10B, a section which deals with agreements between the universities and other institutions in regard to the training of students, testify to the realistic developments that have occurred in recent years, not only in the sphere of greater co-operation between universities themselves, but also between universities and other institutions such as technikons and other training institutions. In that sense, too, these developments are being welcomed.
The provisions as contained in clauses 6 and 7 definitely point to progress, and are an improvement on the present situation.
That greater autonomy is being granted to technikon councils in terms of clause 8 is strongly welcomed by this side of the House. When the Bill in question was before this House at the time, this was one of the fundamental aspects in regard to which we differed fundamentally with the Bill as it was then formulated. We felt that there was every reason to give greater autonomy than that for which the Bill made provision to people serving on the committee for Technikon Principals, people who all occupy responsible positions. For that reason we now welcome the fact that that provision is now being written into this legislation.
The hon the Minister gave an indication of the kind of problems which arose in respect of certificates issued by the Joint Matriculation Board as a result of irregularities in the 1981 examinations. I think the hon the Minister is aware that irregularities also occurred on subsequent occasions. In that sense it is certainly a good thing that the matter should be placed beyond all doubt, pursuant to the court decision in this connection. I do not know whether we are taking the implications of the wide powers which are being granted to the Joint Matriculation Board here sufficiently into account. We are burdened with the practical problem that a student writing examinations need not himself be guilty of irregularities that occurred at the school in question. He may in fact receive his certificate from the Joint Matriculation Board, granting him exemption so that he is consequently at liberty to enrol at a university. He may in fact enrol at a university, with all the financial and other implications for himself and the university. Subsequently it may become apparent that irregularities occurred in regard to the examination, and a student present in the classroom in which such irregularities occurred is then confronted by the situation that his certificate may be withdrawn. This has tremendous implications for such a student, as well as the university. I can mention in passing that I was confronted with such a case this year in which a Black student was at one stage informed that she had passed. Subsequently it appeared, however, that irregularities had occurred at the school and that the undertaking to issue her with a certificate had in fact been erroneous. The student in question had in the meantime, on the basis of original information, enrolled at the University of Fort Hare. This then gave rise to all kinds of concrete problems, particularly as a result of the financial obligations which such enrolment had placed on the parents. I therefore want to know from the hon the Minister how one can overcome the problems in this way, particularly in the case of innocent students who are affected, and also as regards the repayment of costs that have already been incurred. This is a concrete problem with which I have been confronted, and therefore I feel myself at liberty to bring it to the attention of the hon the Minister. The powers which are being given to the Joint Matriculation Board therefore have wide implications.
We welcome once again the inclusion of a representative of Black universities on the Committee of University Principals. I regret having to rub it in in this way, but I must nevertheless point out that when the relevant legislation was before this House, we advocated that provision should also be made for the principals of the Black universities to have representation on the Committee of University Principals. Consequently we are pleased that at last this is now happening. [Interjections.] But the problem now is that, as an hon member on my left has said, this is once again our policy that is being accepted. Sometimes one is tempted to oppose the Government simply to see what the hon members of the CP are going to do, whether they are going to agree with the Government simply because we have opposed the Government. The standpoint of this party, however, is that in all honesty we assess a matter objectively and on its merits. We are not led by absurdities and by what are frequently inconsistent prejudices. But let me say, if you will allow me to, Mr Speaker, that I am constantly amazed when the hon members of the CP tell us that they do not believe in discrimination. They say they do not believe in discrimination based on race and colour, but every time they oppose a measure, one cannot, with the best will in the world, arrive at any other conclusion but that the basis of their opposition is located in a desire to discriminate on the grounds of race and colour. [Interjections.] It is very difficult to understand the logic in the standpoint of the hon members of the CP. I accept that there are fundamental points of difference between them and us, just as there are points of difference between the Government and ourselves. However, I made it very clear that this side of the House will not hesitate, when we differ with the Government, to make that fact very clear, and with reference to this Bill, I am going to point out a few points of difference.
I want to say once again that I welcome the fact that provision is now being made for the representation of Black universities on the Committee of University Principals. It is interesting, however, that only one representative of the Committee of Black University Principals is receiving representation on the Committee of University Principals. That member will, however, have full membership on the committee and will therefore be able to participate in discussions and will be able to vote. I am fully aware of the fact that there is a separate Committee for Black University Principals. I have very strong doubts as to whether this is really necessary. Against this we are placing the representation of the Black technikons on the Committee of Technikon Principals, and as the hon the Minister indicated, there is only one Black technikon at the moment. He said inter alia that if more technikons should be established, the situation would be reconsidered, but I do not know what the hon the Minister meant by that. I have a feeling that I do not really like that statement of the hon the Minister. We may later find ourselves confronted with a situation in which there is more than one Black technikon and the Minister then comes to this House and says that because there are more Black technikons now, they cannot have representation on the Committee of Technikon Principals. We may also have the situation that only one of those Black technikon principals may serve on this committee.
The interesting point, however, is that the Black member who represents the Black technikons on this committee will not have representation there as a full member. He may participate in the discussion, but he may not vote. To me this appears to be a completely illogical approach. In the case of the Committee of University Principals a Black university principal is included as a full member. The Black person is included on the Committee of Technikon Principals and he may participate in the discussions, but he may not vote. To me this seems to be a completely illogical form of discrimination between universities and technikons. I cannot understand why what applies in the one case cannot also be applied in the other. As I have already said, we are ad idem with the Government as far as most of the aspects of this Bill are concerned—and I need not elaborate on that any further.
However, I now have a few fundamental problems with this Bill. The first is that we on this side of the House cannot understand why all the Black university principals cannot receive representation on the Committee of University Principals. Why should we continue to maintain an element of what I cannot label as anything else but racial discrimination in this sphere? After all, how many Black universityes are left in the Republic of South Africa? At this stage there is the University of kwaZulu, the University of the North and a few others. Surely it can make no change to the composition, to the function and to the effectiveness of that committee if they were to say that those Black universities had now reached the stage in which they were in all respects equal to the White universities. After all, they have the same status. The quality of their work is also equal. Why should we therefore, on the university level—and this has nothing to do with the question of separate development or anything of that nature—not give recognition to a body which is supposed to represent all the universities? Why cannot we simply say that, via their principals, we are going to give all the universities in South Africa representation on that body? I honestly cannot understand why a distinction should be drawn, and why only one of those university principals should serve on the Committee of University Principals. The same arguments apply of course to the Committee of Technikon Principals. I cannot understand why, if we are going so far as to offer a principal of a Black technikon membership of the Committee of Technikon Principals, we cannot then, in addition, as in the case of the Committee of University Principals, enjoy full and equal status together with other members of that committee. This is once again a form of discrimination which is entirely incomprehensible to me. I find it completely incomprehensible.
Mr Speaker, I have another problem which is far graver than the previous one. It is actually concerned with the question of the recognition by the universities of degrees and other qualifications obtained at other universities and institutions, and also with the agreements between universities and certain other universities. My problem lies in fact with the definition of a university, as formulated in the Bill under discussion, as well as the existing legislation. In the cases under discussion a university is defined as being solely a university for Whites.
Yes, it is true. It is stated expressly in the definition in the Bill itself. I do beg your pardon. I mean that it does in fact include universities for Coloureds and Indians. The term “university”, as it is defined in the Bill under discussion, excludes Black universities. What are the implications of this? We are awaiting the reply from the hon the Minister in this connection.
It means that a White university or the University of the Western Cape or the University of Durban-Westville cannot grant recognition to degrees and qualifications acquired at a Black university. The implications of the Bill therefore appear to be that a White, Coloured or Indian university cannot enter into an agreement with a Black university or other training institution. That seems to me what the implications of this amending Bill are.
I want to put a further question to the hon the Minister. Since these preferences are now being removed from the universities because the provisions of the private universities legislation regulating these matters are now being repealed by this amending Bill, does it not mean that the powers and authority which those universities have had up to now to enter into agreements with Black universities in terms of their own statutes are now becoming inoperative?
If my interpretation is correct, then I think a further anomaly is that these provisions apply only to universities within the republic. It seems to me as though, in terms of the provisions of this Bill, there is no impediment to a university in the Republic entering into an agreement with a similar institution outside the Republic, for example the University of Bophuthatswana. In fact, we have already had the case, a few weeks ago, when provision was made for the recognition of legal qualifications acquired at such a university as the University of Bophuthatswana. If my interpretation is correct, then it appears to me as though the possibility exists that an agreement may be entered into between a White university in South Africa and a university outside the Republic, but that the universities within the Republic are not able to enter into an agreement with a Black university within the Republic.
I am putting these matters by way of questions to the hon the Minister, and I want to emphasize the fact that these problems weigh very heavily with us. We are still living with a heritage resulting from the Black universities having been burdened for many years with the stigma that they were inferior universities. Rightly or wrongly, we nevertheless know that that was the case. Fortunately it seems to me as though that stigma has to a considerable extent been eliminated, and for that reason we must be all the more careful not to do anything which could once again cause that stigma to cling to those universities. It is in that spirit that I raised these points and put my questions to the hon the Minister.
Under the circumstances I then wish to say that although we welcome this Bill in certain respects, our final attitude in respect of the legislation is ultimately going to be determined by the replies of the hon the Minister to the specific questions which I have put to him.
Mr Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak after the hon member Prof Olivier. I want to thank him in advance for having kept his options open as to whether his party is going to support this legislation or not, and for not having shot down the legislation from the start.
I want to tell the hon member that I think that the problem which he stated here concerning the stigma attaching to certain universities cannot be disregarded. It did exist and we are grateful for the fact that it has disappeared. However, I want to request him very seriously not to advance the argument again that there is a stigma attaching to certain universities. All the universities are equal, and I think that this legislation also shows that all universities in South Africa are equal. There is no external factor which makes a university a first-or second-class university. This is determined by the Senate and teaching staff of that university, and I do not think we should try to label universities in any way by saying that they fall into certain categories. There are good departments at white Universities and there are good departments at the universities of the coloureds, the Indians, and the Blacks, but by the same token, there are also poor departments at some of these universities. It does not depend on legislation, nor does it depend on the student; it depends on the lecturers and the research they do.
The hon member Prof Olivier also talked about the standards. Last year, an amendment of this nature was advocated, and now this amendment is being introduced, in terms of which a person from the Committee of rectors of Black Universities can also serve on this body. I believe that this is a very good amendment, because the important point which we discussed when we were debating these universities is now being achieved, in the sense that it will henceforth be possible for them to negotiate about standards on an equal footing. This is the important point.
We should guard against the development—I have referred to this before—of first-and second-class universities in this country, as there are in America and in respect of certain English universities. All universities should also endeavour to avoid this. It should also be the policy of this side of the House. I think the Government is doing its share in this connection, by means of the subsidy formula and by means of this amendment, to put them all on an equal footing, and to leave it up to the universities themselves to determine whether they are going to be known as good universities or as inferior ones. I do not believe there is anything which can be laid at the door of the Government at this stage to prove that we are trying to handicap any university. I believe that all universities are recognized as equals, but I repeat that it depends on the university itself in which category it places itself in the eyes of the public.
I should like to put certain questions to the hon the Minister at this stage in connection with certain aspects. While we are on the subject of the subsidy formula, there is something which I have discussed before, but which I want to mention once again. It has been said that the subsidy formula is the same for all. When it comes to research and the writing of textbooks, one of our main problems—this is unique to South Africa—is that the Black universities cannot produce enough books in their own language. The same applies to Afrikaans, of course. I know the hon the Minister of National Education is not responsible for the Black universities, because they fall under the Minister of Education and Training, but I suggest that the two hon Ministers should put their heads together and try to come to an agreement that when textbooks are written in one of the Black languages of South Africa or in Afrikaans, such textbooks should be deemed to form part of the research project of a lecturer, so that the university may receive credit for it in its subsidy formula.
I think that in this way, we could solve two important problems which are being experienced in this country in connection with textbooks. The first one is that many of the textbooks that are being used come from overseas and are out of keeping with local circumstances. The second one is that it is difficult for first-year or undergraduate students in particular when they have to use textbooks which are out of keeping with South African circumstances. On the first-year level in particular, it could be of great assistance if we could start there and if we could have a textbook written by a lecturer at a university so that the textbook is acceptable to the language group concerned.
An undertaking which was given last year is now being carried out in terms of this Bill. That undertaking concerns the amendment of the legislation in order to place the universities on an equal footing. This brings us to a second important facet, namely the rationalization of tertiary education. I think it is high time we spelt out very clearly in South Africa what the tertiary level should look like and what the problems are in connection with each of the three types of institutions providing tertiary education in this country, namely the universities, the technikons and the training colleges. There are other institutions which I could add to the list, but let us concentrate on these three, which are the most important ones.
The fact that technikons can now train teachers as well is a very important improvement, in my opinion. This is particularly true, as the hon the Minister said in his speech, with regard to technical levels and some of the content subjects offered at technikons. I think it could be of great value if technikons were to develop their own cultural milieu within which they trained their own people and then employed them, particularly in specialized directions in which they are struggling to find people at the moment. This is happening for a variety of reasons, of which salaries are one. I hope that this will help to enable them to deal with their manpower problems.
A representative of the Black universities will now serve on the Committee of University Principals, and I believe that it will be possible to find a satisfactory solution to the problem of standards in this way.
Clause 4 provides for universities to recognize one another’s degrees. There have been problems with the mutual recognition of degrees in the past. In this connection I disagree with the hon member Prof Olivier, however, concerning the question of whether universities should accept qualifications obtained at other universities as a matter of course. I believe it is a good thing that this Bill provides for the highest academic body of a university, its senate, to decide on this and also to deal with certain ad hoc cases. I also welcome the fact that it is now being provided that a person who has never received any formal training at a university, an accountancy student, for example, who has had to sit for an examination to prove that he has attained a certain level of competence, will henceforth be able to enrol at universities for further academic training. As in the past, provision is again being made in the Bill for an exchange of people among the universities when it comes to specialized studies. There are Blacks who are pursuing their postgraduate studies at White universities, for example, as well as Whites who are studying at Black universities, of course. This happens when students want to specialize in a certain direction. During the discussion of the National Education Vote, we mentioned the fact that greater specialization at university level could become a very important factor in future. I believe that we should encourage this and that universities should specialize, especially at the postgraduate level. I do not think that our universities should be all things to all men, for then they might end up by being nothing to anyone. I support the idea that universities should specialize, especially at the postgraduate level, and that this specialization should be concentrated on their field of interest and research. I believe that this would also lead to a better utilization of manpower than there is at the moment, where most universities are trying to offer as many fields of study as possible.
The Bill places a strong obligation on universities to liaise with one another and to co-ordinate their actions as far as the recognition of degrees is concerned. I believe that the the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council should lay down certain guidelines as to what should be taken into consideration in recognizing degrees. I have gained the impression in the past that certain universities refuse to recognize the degrees of other universities, not because those degrees are not up to a certain standard, but because they want to prove, by refusing to recognize the degree, that their standard is higher. I request the hon the Minister, therefore, to lay down guidelines which can be used by the senate of a university when degrees are recognized.
The proposed new section 10B, which is being inserted by clause 4, provides for the utilization of specialized knowledge across a wide front. In the light of our manpower shortage in this country, I believe that this is a very good provision. It will mean that the training which becomes possible as a result of specialization can be provided across a wide front. One found in the past, for example, that technikons provided training in certain directions, but that the universities did not. In terms of this statutory amendment it will be possible—this has been done in practice in the past—for technikons and universities to co-operate in training pharmacists and optometrists, for example.
The second part of this mutual recognition concerns the training colleges and universities. University students are now taking certain courses at training college level, while certain students from the training colleges are taking some of their subjects at the universities. I think that this new tendency, for which provision is now finally being made in the amending measure, is the best possible tendency for the optimum utilization of facilities, the resources made available to the country’s universities by Parliament and the available manpower. It holds a further advantage as well. The Bill is now putting a technikon and a college on an equal footing in respect of standards and in terms of the hierarchy. A diploma conferred by a technikon or a college can now be endorsed, therefore, to show that this course was offered in co-operation with a university. This endorsement enhances the status of such a course and also recognizes training provided by the various institutions in conjunction. At this stage, it will also be of great benefit to us in trying to overcome our existing manpower problem.
Then there is an interesting provision providing for the training of teachers at technikons, and related matters. We have referred to this before. However, I should like to sound a warning at this stage in respect of the training which is taking place at the technikons at present, and this is that we shall have to try to specialize and that technikons should not take over the function of the universities or the training colleges. Each one has a structured teaching course which it has been offering for many years, and I think that the technikons should accommodate themselves to this and that they should define the area which they are best suited to cover. They should very clearly identify, as against the colleges on the one hand and the universities on the other, which part of the work they themselves will deal with for these purposes.
There is a further request which I want to put to the hon the Minister. Since greater autonomy is now being given to technikons and universities in the legislation which has recently been piloted through Parliament by the hon the Minister of National Education, and since the technikons as well as the universities are being heavily subsidized by Parliament, I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether he would not request the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council, or issue a directive to them—the hon the Minister can decide for himself how he wants to handle the matter—that every university and every technikon should make a concise report on its activities during the preceding year available to us and should also distribute it more widely. I am referring here to the example of the Vice-Chancellor’s Report of the University of Cape Town, which is published every year. It spells out very clearly the main events that have taken place at that university during the course of the year, where its finances come from and what it has been spent on. All these things are very clearly explained, as divided between the two main activities of the university, namely research on the one hand and teaching on the other. I should be grateful if the hon the Minister could arrange for us to receive such a report from each of the universities and technikons which have gained increasing statutory autonomy but which are being heavily subsidized. As I have said, it does not have to be a long report. In the case of a technikon, we could call it a director’s report, and in the case of a university, it could be a vice-chancellor’s report, because most vice-chancellors are also principals of the universities today. In that way, we shall know what is going on at the universities which are now autonomous bodies. I take pleasure in supporting the Second Reading of this Bill.
Mr Speaker, there is a great deal with which I can agree in what the hon member Dr Welgemoed in particular had to say about universities. For example, I endorse his standpoint that universities should concentrate more on postgraduate specialization. I think it is very important that universities should move in this direction.
There is another matter to which I want to refer in this regard. I believe that when it comes to introducing the various courses, universities will have to go about this more selectively. For example, they should be much more market-orientated. By this I am not making a plea that the human sciences, the legal world or the world of theology should by any means be neglected at the expense of the exact sciences, economics or any other field. I am simply mentioning this to indicate that universities should perhaps not admit people to study for degrees of which there will be an oversupply in the market in the future, and are therefore not going to meet a particular need in the market.
The present Bill contains a few clauses which do not create any problems for the Conservative Party and which we will, infact, be supporting. On the other hand, however, there are clauses included in the Bill to which we object in principle. Firstly, I want to single out and express a few thoughts on a few of the clauses to which we have no objections.
The first clause is the one relating to irregularities in examinations. I believe that if a body such as the Joint Matriculation Board is responsible for certificates being awarded to persons that have acquired particular qualifications, the council should also have the responsibility to be able to take action when irregularities take place. It would be wrong if the Joint Matriculation Board were to be compelled to award certificates to people when irregularities have taken place as well. I think it is a good thing that provision is being made for action to be taken in respect of irregularities. I also think that one should not go about this on a mere random basis. The Joint Matriculation Board must undertake the necessary investigations and it must substantiate its actions with the facts when it decides to take action and withhold certificates. I do not think that this should be a mere question of a random decision.
The second aspect we support is the extension of teacher training at technikons. It is important that technikons should also be given the opportunity to train teachers in respect of certain subjects—technical subjects in particular—so that they can supply the market with qualified people from their particular situation.
The other aspect to which I personally have no objection, is the question of greater autonomy for technikons. Universities are autonomous and I therefore believe that there should be no objection if technikons, which are really also at the level of tertiary education, obtain a greater degree of autonomy.
The fourth aspect to which we have no objection is the question of salary scales and allowances of the staff of technikons. In this regard I refer to the concluding paragraph of the hon the Minister’s second Reading speech relating to clause 9.
Having singled out these matters to which we have no objection, I also want to single out the matters to which the Conservative Party does, in fact, object in principle. Our fundamental objections relate mainly to clauses 2 and 10. In terms of clause 2 a Black representative of the Committee of University Rectors is being given the right to sit on the Committee of University Principals. Last year, when provision was made for the rectors of Coloured universities to sit on the Committee of University Principals, we on this side of the House objected to this because we had fundamental objections. Then it was envisaged that Black universities would also possibly be given representation at a later stage. However, this has happened much sooner than I had foreseen, since this is taking place in this legislation, now, and just as we objected last year, we are objecting to it once again this year. We are not prepared to support this clause.
After all, it became apparent from the argument of the hon member Prof Olivier that since the Government party is making this concession and coming forward with one person, that party is now demanding a representative on the Committee of University Principals for each university. I am of the opinion that the hon member is just being a little overhasty; it is coming. It is coming as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow. He must just not be so hasty. This is a breakthrough. It is also a breakthrough in respect of the committee of Technikon Principals, and we on this side of the House object to that. We shall fight those clauses. According to our interpretation, those clauses further encroach upon the so-called own affairs at tertiary level. They increasingly encroach upon own affairs. Increasingly more legislation is being passed and placed on the Statute Book as general affairs. This is legislation which the “own” will always have to take into account when it wants to deal with its so-called own affairs. We object to that. We on this side of the House are really faced with the same choice as the official Opposition. They are simply keeping their options open by first waiting for the hon the Minister’s reply to certain doubts they have raised. We on this side will be opposing the Second Reading of this Bill on the basis of the fundamental objections we have to certain clauses—clauses which I have set out— despite the fact that we support other clauses.
Mr Speaker, I listened very attentively to what the hon member for Koedoespoort had to say. We thank that side of the House for giving their support, if I remember correctly, to four of the clauses of the Bill. Naturally, we on this side of the House accept the reasons given for their support for certain clauses. However, I want to put it to the hon member that with regard to to his reasoning in connection with universities and courses offered on the one hand and schools on the other, an inconsistency emerged. I recall that the hon member for Germiston District said during the discussion of the previous Bill earlier today that the CP strongly objected to our placing too much emphasis in education on labour and market needs. She spelt this out very clearly.
I referred to manpower.
Very well, manpower and labour. Those were the two concepts she used. But the hon member for Koedoespoort advocated that universities should be more market-orientated and he asked that a specific need in the market be met by means of university training. The hon member for Koedoespoort said that a moment ago. Now I want to ask hon members whether there is a difference in their policy on university training compared with tertiary education. [Interjections.] That is exactly what the hon member for Koedoespoort just said, and it will avail him nothing to shake his head and try to avoid the issue. In the discussion of this important matter it has now become very clear that there is dissension among the members on that side of the House as far as their standpoints on this matter are concerned. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Koedoespoort also objected to the fact that in terms of this legislation a Black rector would in future be able to serve on the Committee of University Principals. I wondered what reason the hon member would give for objecting to a director of Black technikons being able to serve on the Committee of Technikon Principals. At the end of his speech the hon member then said that he objected on behalf of the CP because this would detract from own affairs at tertiary level, which according to that side of the House was the issue here. If the hon member therefore reasons that the fact that a Black rector is serving on the Committee of University Principals, this is of necessity going to detrack from the unique character of a White university, I throw up my hands in despair. Does the hon member know what the aim and function of the Committee of University Principals is? The fact that a Black rector may now serve on that committee, does not after all mean that it is going to detrack from the nature and the character of a specific White university. [Interjections.] In the same way it is not true that because a Black rector is now being given the right to serve on that committee, it is going to mean that this is going to detract from the nature and character of the Black university because there are also Whites serving on the Committee of University Principals.
The question asked by the CP was why only a single Black rector may serve on the Committee of University Principals. The hon member Prof Olivier also referred to it. The hon the Minister will reply in detail, to the hon member on that point, but allow me to say that we have to get away from the idea that, because this liaison or co-operation is now being effected, we are moving away from the idea of ethnic universities. This remains the policy of this side of the House. We still have White universities, and we still have Black universities falling under the Minister of Education and Training. Consequently there is still that unique character which is being associated with universities, including the universities for Coloured and Indians. This is in line with the general policy of this side of the House which we have consistently pursued over the years.
I do not begrudge the hon member Prof Olivier the pleasure of enjoying his little political game by emphasizing that the PFP told the NP long ago that such representation should be given to the Blacks. But in the same way that there have been adjustments in the PFP’s policy; as is also the case with the NRP and the CP—and I have sufficient reason to say that the CP has also made adjustments as far as its standpoints are concerned—this also applies to the Government. We on this side of the House have never maintained that we do not adapt our policy to the needs of the times. But the fact remains that when we adapt our policy, it does not mean that we are abandoning our principles and the goals we are striving to attain. What is happening is that the policy is being adjusted precisely in order to achieve these objectives, and to give expression to principles. For that reason I am able to tell the hon member Prof Olivier that in this respect what is happening is that this representation is being granted in order to bring about the necessary liaison, and also to bring about the necessary co-operation because we on this side of the House are also aware of the good work being done at the Black and other universities.
Mr Speaker, I should just like to put the following question to the hon member for Virginia. Whether or not one accepts the concept of ethnic universities, representation on the Committee of University Principals is not really relevant to that concept, as is apparent from the fact that we already give full representation on this new Committee of University Principals to universities for Coloureds and for Indians. Does the hon member grant me that?
Yes, Mr Chairman, I do agree with the hon member Prof Olivier. This is precisely the argument I have just used against the CP. The hon member Prof Olivier is in fact emphasizing what I have just said. That is why I agree with him.
I want to use the same argument in connection with the representing of a Black technikon on the Committee of Technikon Principals. If I again take the argument of the hon member for Koedoespoort into consideration, the issue in the case of technikons is not that we want to detract from the nature and the character of a White technikon either. With regard to the legislation under discussion I do not want to risk repeating myself by dealing with every particular of every separate clause again. I think that the hon member Dr Welgemoed elucidated the matter very clearly. He also did so thoroughly with reference to the Second Reading speech of the hon the Minister. I merely want to point out that this is in fact legislation which is affording an opportunity for closer co-operation between White universities on the one hand and Black universities on the other. The same also applies to technikons. It is also concerned with rationalization, as the hon member Prof Olivier correctly pointed out. It is also concerned with the granting of greater recognition to technikons. I do not think that anyone is going to object to that. Generally speaking I therefore feel that in future this legislation will turn out to be important and necessary, enabling us to achieve only what is best in the interests of tertiary education over a wider sphere as well.
In conclusion I want to refer to the matter of the Joint Matriculation Board and the fact that this board may cancel a certificate which has been issued, after it has become known that irregularities occurred. I concede that the hon member Prof Olivier is correct when he says that this is of course a serious matter. It is of course a matter which may affect a student very intensely, particularly if he has written his examination and has passed it and is then placed under suspicion. Possibly his certificate may also be cancelled. Of course it is also possible that cases of this kind may occur when the relevant student is in fact not guilty. The other side of the coin is, however, equally true. The hon member Prof Olivier will of course agree with me that it can happen—in fact it does happen; it has happened in the past—that a certificate is issued and that it is then ascertained beyond any doubt that irregularities occurred. Now of course a mechanism has to be incorporated into the legislation allowing that certificate to be cancelled, otherwise that will not be fair either. Naturally this entire matter has to be treated with the greatest circumspection, and a specific body has to accept responsiblity with regard to this decision.
I myself do not believe that any body other than the body responsible for issuing the relevant certificate can be entrusted with a responsibility of this kind. I would therefore agree with the hon member Prof Olivier if he were to argue that the Joint Matriculation Board handle these matters with great circumspection, and must make as certain as possible, before a certificate is cancelled, that it has ascertained beyond any doubt that the relevant candidate to whom the certificate was issued was in fact guilty. I also have sufficient confidence in the Joint Matriculation Board to accept this. This is, after all, a board which does not consist of Whites only, but of representatives from the respective race groups. I also hope that they will approach a matter of this kind with the utmost seriousness.
Mr Speaker, it is therefore a great pleasure for me to support the Second Reading of the Bill under discussion.
Mr Speaker, the Bill before us at the moment clearly demonstrates the extent to which education is a very sensitive issue among all the parties concerned. I am sure the hon the Minister feels rather like a man on a carousel. He finds himself going around faster and faster, the tune gets faster and faster and the picture becomes a little blurred.
Listening to the attitude expressed by hon members of the various parties in this House rather reminds one of the expression that those at the back shouted “forward” and those in the front shouted “back”. This typifies the attitude on the part of the various parties towards the question of education in South Africa. I want to say immediately that the NRP welcomes this amending legislation. While it may not go as far as we would have liked it to go, we believe that it is …
A step in the right direction.
Quite correct. The hon member for Rissik, I see, is coming right as well.
As far as the attitude of the official Opposition is concerned, I believe that it has been demonstrated that they too are starting to find that it is good politics and good sense to adopt an attitude of a step in the right direction and evolutionary change despite the fact that one may have serious misgivings in certain respects or object to the fact that the legislation does not go quite far enough.
Are the Nats too slow these days?
I shall come back to that in a moment. I think that possibly the official Opposition are starting to feel the breeze from the voters outside. One could not help but notice in a recent market and opinion survey that appeared in Rapport that their support among the electorate is starting to drop very rapidly. I think that what we are now seeing on their part is an increased sense of responsibility—to a very large extent emulating the attitude of the NRP… [Interjections.] But what does concern me is that very possibly we may have a case here of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I want to warn the public not to be taken in by this apparently responsible attitude.
As far as the CP are concerned they too will find that to become dogmatic in respect of an ideology is not practical politics in South Africa. One has to move with the times and one has to adapt to circumstances. Increasingly, as South Africa prospers and as people receive more education, the needs of the other communities are going to have to be satisfied as well.
You are the last one to talk about practical politics.
We can talk about practical politics because we know what it is all about. We have been running a province outside the present Government establishment for more than 73 years. We know what it is all about, and those hon members will agree with me that we did not have to change our stance regarding the referendum. [Interjections.] We made the correct decision on 2 November of last year. We did not have to change. However, by that I do not mean to belittle the fact that the hon the Leader of the Opposition and his party have seen fit to work within the system although they disapprove of certain aspects of it. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, may I please ask a question? Since the hon member has referred to the referendum, I should just like to know whether or not he did not change his stance in regard to a fourth House for Blacks?
Order! What has that to do with the Bill before the House? [Interjections.]
If there had been a fourth House, it may well have affected the attitude of my party towards certain clauses in this legislation. We have always stated that in terms of our policy we make provision for a fourth Chamber for urbanized Blacks, if I may use that expression, to participate in this Parliament provided it is what they want and provided it is found satisfactory by all parties after extensive negotiations. I should also like to refer the hon member prof Olivier to the speech I made two years ago on the private member’s motion that I introduced into this House then in regard to Black representation on the President’s Council. I think he will find all the answers there.
The CP will find that they will have to adapt to changing circumstances and that they will also have to accommodate other race groups in their policy, unlike the attitude they adopt at the moment. I asked one of the hon members of the CP by way of interjection earlier on how they would cope with the problem of maintaining standards at universities in Southern Africa including Black universities within the Republic of South Africa unless those Black universities had some form of representation on the Committee of University Heads. How else would they do it?
How do they do it in Swaziland, Lesotho and so forth?
By meeting with these people and conversing with them on a committee which can establish standards. There has to be an agenda, minutes, an attendance register, a quorum and all that sort of thing. There are all sorts of requirements and therefore one should have representation. How can the CP object to the representation of the Black universities on the Heads of Universities Committee? I think they understand it, and I do not think that they themselves believe that if they ever came into power they could do away with such representation on such a committee. Therefore I believe that at the moment their attitude towards that representation is based more on expediency in Potgietersrus than on good education theory. The CP has already changed its attitude to a dogmatic stance regarding what they called “gemengde regering”. These hon members are going to be working in a mixed Parliament whether they like it or not. [Interjections.]
They are going to be here and they are already starting to adapt to a pragmatic policy.
Will you resign when we take over?
If these hon members takeover, I shall definitely resign because I do not think there will be much left over of South Africa by the time these hon members take over.
I should like to come back to the Bill itself. I think the hon members of the CP will realize in time to come that they are not taking educational interests into account when they oppose this Bill. As fas as the few objections are concerned which the hon member Prof Olivier raised, I should like to say that we should also like to hear what answer the hon the Minister gives to those questions with specific reference to the differences which occur between representation status of the Black universities’ representatives on the Heads of Universities Committee on the one hand and on the other hand the fact that the representatives at technikon level will be treated at a lower status level. We are not going to oppose the Bill because of those few questions. We have always believed that improvement on an evolutionary basis is better but we are looking forward to hearing what the hon the Minister has to say.
The Bill itself is indicative of the fact that tertiary education in South Africa is maturing. Concomitant with that is the prerequisite that the Government’s attitude to tertiary education is also maturing. University education and tertiary education as such is the very essence of what survival and the quality of life is for all citizens of South Africa. One should be exposed to the widest possible range of philosophical and academic exposure that is possible in a university career in order to allow the citizen to compete in this highly competitive world today and to be able to make a living not on a trial and error basis but on a fundamental and scientific basis. Therefore, unlike the CP, we believe that exposure to members of all population groups is an essential part of that what I may call the “liberal” education of every citizen because if one operates in isolation one is uneducated. If one operates in isolation at university level where every thing is prescribed to one regarding what one can teach and what one cannot teach and whom one should meet and whom one cannot meet, then one is subject to indoctrination and not to education. If the citizens become predominantly subjected to indoctrination instead of education, then the viability of that population is weakened to the proportion in which there is indoctrination. It is essential, in order to have “weerbaarheid”, that every citizen of South Africa should have the maximum exposure, certainly at the tertiary educational level, to other population groups.
That is why we are glad to see that the hon the Minister has found his way clear towards improving this position. Tertiary education is the meeting ground of all population groups with unfettered qualifications other than those which are prescribed by legislation and the tenets of those institutions.
As far as the other provisions are concerned, we welcome them, and in particular, let me say, the liaison, the improvement and the rationalization which will occur between the technikons and the universities is to be welcomed. In the history of this country to date there has been a very considerable gap there which we hope to bridge successfully within the framework of greater autonomy and devolution of power for all those institutions; in other words, they will adapt according to their own prescriptions. They will do it themselves and it will not be prescribed to them by the Government in detail what they should do. We welcome that devolution of power and the improvement in the prospective relationships between technikons and universities. May I also say that we welcome the rationalization of the private acts of universities. I am sure that many universities were getting rather tired of the tedious prospect of always having to come cap in hand to us to ask that we effect amendments to those particular acts.
The training of career oriented teachers at technikons will also fulfil a considerable need in the South African spectrum of teacher training. The one thing we need desperately in this country, is a sufficient number of technically trained teachers. Despite the massive unemployment in South Africa, and the underemployment the fact that we are in a relative recession, South Africa will still be short in ten years’ time of over 100 000 technically trained people. It is almost unbelievable that we will have a shortage of so many skilled people in a decade’s time. The only way you can overcome that is by improving the training facilities, and in order to do that you must have more teachers. That is why we welcome the new initiative that has been taken regarding teacher training at technical college level.
In conclusion I want to refer to the question of the Joint Matriculation Board. We had difficulty deciding whether we would support the provision dealing with the Joint Matriculation Board. The problem that arises here is that when the Joint Matriculation Board finds that irregularities occur in an examination and it then becomes necessary to withdraw certificates, this will probably affect groups more than it will affect individuals. If one looks at the misdemeanours that have occurred in recent times—and we are concerned about them—one sees that there have been leakages of examination papers and irregularities within a group sitting to write an examination. Very seldom has any one individual been the cause of a misdemeanour. This inevitably means that certain individuals are going to be included in this wide net that is going to be cast for the withdrawal of certificates. It is of considerable concern to us that any individual should incorrectly have his certificate withdrawn simply because circumstances were such that he happened to be in that group at the time. How do you prove if at school A a mathematics paper is leaked out a week or a few days before an exam, that a specific pupil or pupils actually had sight of that paper? On the other hand, how can you allow that group to receive its certificates without exception? This is a tremendous problem and I do not know how the Joint matriculation Board is going to deal with it. The hon member for Virginia said that he was confident that justice would be done. We certainly hope it will be, but we feel that inevitably individuals are going to be sacrificed in the interests of the group.
The second problem relates to the right of appeal by a group or an individual who feels aggrieved by the withdrawal of his certificate by the Joint Matriculation Board. To whom does the person appeal? In the past he appealed to the court and, if the court found in favour of the individual, his certificate had to be returned to him. In terms of the provision in the Bill, we are effectively removing the right of appeal against a decision of the Joint Matriculation Board. In any event, that is my interpretation of it and I would like to know if the hon the Minister has any comment to make in this regard.
We welcome the other provisions of the Bill and do not have any problems with them. We will certainly be giving our full support to the Second Reading of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, with reference to the remarks made by the hon member for Durban North, I should like to deal with the problems which he and the hon member Prof Olivier mentioned in connection with the provision dealing with the power of the Join Matriculation Board to exercise control over examinations. It is true that this regulating power which is being conferred on the Matriculation Board may indeed affect innocent individuals as well, but it is also true that all the education departments have this power in terms of their legislation. The only examining body which does not have this power—it believed that it did, but in terms of the court’s interpretation of its enabling legislation, it obviously does not—is the Joint Matriculation Board. In other words, and with all due respect, the subordinate examining bodies, on the basis of whose examinations the Matriculation Board ultimately grants its exemption certificate in most cases, have the power to apply these sanctions when irregularities have occurred during examinations, while, in terms of the court judgment, the Matriculation Board does not have this power. The Matriculation Board is not being given a strange or unreasonable power in terms of this provision, therefore. It is merely receiving the same power which the departments of education have in respect of the control of their examinations when an irregularity takes place. That is the first point I want to make.
Secondly, I think we may indeed accept that, as the hon member for Virginia and other hon members pointed out, the Matriculation Board is a very broadly representative body. Every examining body is represented on it. The teaching profession is represented on it. The private schools are also represented on it. It is one of the few statutory bodies in the country on which private schools have permanent representation. All the universities are represented on it. It is unlikely, therefore, that this body would do anything rash, that this body would fail to act with the greatest circumspection.
Having said this, the question remains— the hon member Prof Olivier referred to it— of what can be done to prevent the problem. The answer to that is that the problem should indeed be prevented as far as possible. Preventive measures are the answer. In other words, the Joint Matriculation Board, like the other examining bodies, should take stringest precautions to prevent irregularities such as the possible theft of examination papers or disclosure of the contents of examination papers or irregularities on the part of invigilators, teachers or candidates. I may say in spite of the great care taken by all the examining bodies in this respect, such irregularities nevertheless occur every year to a greater or lesser extent. This is an unfortunate fact. One cannot control this in any other way—unless it is an irregularity affecting only one or two persons whom one can identify—than by requesting all the people who have sat for the examination in regard to which an irregularity or a leak occurred to sit for a re-examination. This is unfortunately true. It is particularly hard on those students who have studied honestly, who have not been guilty of any irregularity and who are now expected to rewrite the examination, because one simply cannot, with certainty, separate the sheep from the goats. I concede to the hon member Prof Olivier that such a thing could certainly give rise to some bitterness, especially when the persons involved have already registered at a university and then lose their certificates, although they are afforded the opportunity or rewriting the examination immediately, of course. It is not necessarily a total cancellation, but it is nevertheless a major inconvenience as far as their adjustment to their university studies is concerned. Although one would have preferred not to have such a provision, therefore, it is indeed a right which the Matriculation Board has frequently exercised in the past. This is the first time it has been challenged in court, and the court ruled that the present Act did not authorize such an act on the part of the Matriculation Board.
†As far as the right of appeal is concerned—I think the question put by the hon member for Durban North in this regard is very pertinent—as I interpret this, although there will be no appeal to another educational body, the aggrieved person will still have the right to appeal to the courts should he be in a position to prove that the Joint Matriculation Board exercised its authority in a way which is not consistent with natural justice, for instance, if the board did not properly investigate the case. In such cases, as I see it—and I do not speak as a legal expert—it would still be possible for an aggrieved person to seek redress from the courts.
*Having given this explanation, I hope that the hon member will accept that a need exists for this provision and that he will realize that it is not something new, but that it is a power which is already being exercised by education departments. I think we may accept that this power will be exercised with very great circumspection by the Matriculation Board. Then I should like to deal with a question which was mentioned by members of all three Opposition parties, namely the representation which representatives of Black universities and Black technikons are getting on the Committee of University Principals and the Committee of Technikon Principals. The hon members of the CP wanted to know why they were getting it at all. I said last year that we intended to do this, but that we first wanted to create separate structures in respect of Black universities and technikons through the Department of Education and Training. On the other hand, it has been asked why, since it is now going to be done, it is being done in such an inconsistent way. Why is only one representative being allowed in the one case, and why a representative without the right to vote in the other case? I want to refer to certain aspects in this connection. It is the conviction of the Government that all universities have common interests and that they consequently have a need—they themselves have made this very clear to the Government—to meet from time to time to discuss their common interests. At the moment, the Committee of University Principals invites those rectors who are not members of the committee to take part in informal discussions from time to time, but the appointment of a nominated representative of Black universities as a permanent member with the right to vote will mean that there will in fact be a representative of the Committee of Rectors of Black Universities on the Committee of University Principals at all times. A need is felt by all the universities, therefore, to discuss their common interests with one another. This need is actually much wider. It is a well-known fact that universities meet at the regional and international levels to consult on matters of common interest, without compromising their autonomy and the sovereignty of their states. Accordingly, I welcome the fact that the Committee of University Principals has on occasion invited the principals, not only of other universities in South Africa, but also of universities outside the Republic, to discuss matters of common interest with them.
The second fact is that universities for Blacks also have very clear interests of their own at this stage. These are connected in particular with the way in which their administration and method of financing still differ from those of the autonomous universities. In addition, therefore, to the particular way in which they are administered and financed, two of the matters which receive particular attention in the discussions between universities represented on this body, they also have interests which are peculiar to them. For this reason, the Department of Education and Training considered it essential that there should also be a separate body for the rectors of Black universities. On the other hand, it was considered that they do not have a full interest in or should not have the right to participate in decisions concerning recommendations—it is only a question of recommendations—with regard to matters affecting the other autonomous universities—ie White, Coloured and Indian universities—which are administratively autonomous and are all financed in the same way. As long as these distinctive interests exist, we believe that there is a need for a separate body for the Black universities and that they require only limited representation, but with a full vote, on the Committee of University Principals.
A third point which I want to emphasize— the hon member for Virginia has already spelt it out clearly—is that universities are indeed autonomous. The universities which are members of the Committee of University Principals are autonomous, and within the limits of their legislation and the limits imposed by the State in respect of their financing, they decide what they want to do and how they want to do it. I believe that there are a few institutions in our society which enjoy such a large measure of administrative autonomy as universities. Even the Committee of University Principals is merely an advisory and a consultative body on which universities exchange knowledge and experience and on which they only adopt a standpoint if they are able to reach consensus. I can say from personal experience that this very seldom happens. The hon member for Virginia is quite right, therefore, when he says that the autonomous character of universities is such that the fact that they are brought together on a Committee of University Principals does not detract in any way from their power to determine their own character and their own nature. The fact that persons from other population groups also serve on that committee has no effect whatsoever on that autonomy or that right to self-determination.
In the fourth place, I want to emphasize that the universities very clearly form part of the total spectrum of education which is dealt with as an own affair. All Government decisions in respect of these universities are therefore taken by the Minister of a specific population group who is responsible for the education of that group, and who is a member of the Ministers’ Council of that population group. If the Committee of University Principals were to make a joint recommendation after having achieved consensus on it, it would have to submit that recommendation to the Minister concerned, who would then have the power to decide for himself what he wants to do about it. Neither the autonomy of universities nor the right of the governing bodies of the population group concerned to exercise control over its own universities can therefore be affected by the fact that universities of all population groups are represented on the Committee of University Principals. I want to emphasize again, as other hon members have also said, that the Committee of University Principals is a forum for consultation and not a decision-making body which is able to take binding decisions. It can merely give advice, addressed to the Minister or Ministers concerned or to the university or universities concerned. Basically, the same applies to the Committee of Technikon Principals.
In a certain sense, the representative of the rectors of Black universities on the Committee of University Principals could more fittingly be regarded as a representative of the Committee of Rectors of Black Universities, in other words, a person whose function it is to liaise between the two committees. I believe that the Committee of Technikon Principals will develop along the same lines in future. At this stage, there is only one technikon for Blacks. It is at a fairly early stage of development. Judging by the nature and character which it is developing, it seems that it may differ in several respects from technikons which have already developed in this country along conventional lines, because there are certain problems among the various Black population groups when it comes to their adaptation to technological culture and the process of training them for that culture. As this new technikon for Blacks becomes more independent, and as an administrative body of their own is created for the technikons for Blacks, perhaps, I believe that the same model will logically have to be applied as has been applied in the case of universities. This was what I meant when I said in my speech that as the technikons for Blacks obtained greater autonomy—I did not say as they inevitably increased in number; it is a question rather of the autonomy and the character of those technikons—the way in which their directors are represented on the Committee of Technikon Principals can be reconsidered.
I hope that these few remarks will serve as a reply to the questions asked by hon members about the apparent anomalies in respect of the new provision with regard to the representation of the Black institutions on the Committee of University Principals and the Committee of Technikon Principals.
Another very important question was asked by the hon member Prof Olivier, arising from the definition of “university”. From this he inferred, and he expressed his concern about this, that in terms of this legislation, it will not be possible for universities falling under the Universities Act—at this stage, only the autonomous universities do— to recognize degrees obtained at universities for Blacks or to enter into agreements with universities for Blacks. This is most definitely not the intention. It is definitely the intention with this legislation that the recognition of degrees and admission to post-graduate studies, as well as the conclusion of agreements, should apply with regard to universities for Blacks within the Republic in exactly the same way as it applies to other institutions. This is also my interpretation of the legislation. The Afrikaans text of the proposed section 10A, as inserted by clause 4 of the Bill, reads as follows:
Surely the word “university” would not be limited to universities which have not been established by an Act of Parliament to serve Blacks as defined in the Population Registration Act. Surely the word must have a much wider meaning. This is the way I have interpreted it. In the English text, it is put even more strongly. I quote:
In both these cases, in the English and Afrikaans texts, I have interpreted it as going beyond the limited definition which only defines the institution upon which the powers are conferred. However, if there is any doubt about the matter—and I shall obtain the opinion of the law advisers on this—I shall see to it that the matter is put beyond all doubt in the Committee Stage.
In the proposed section 10B, which deals with agreements, the hon member Prof Olivier will notice that those agreements are not in connection with the relations between universities, but that they concern other institutions for higher education. Strictly speaking, therefore, I do not think his problem is relevant here. In so far as his problem may be valid, it will have a bearing on the proposed section 10A, and it is very definitely not the intention to restrict the right to recognize degrees obtained at Black universities. In practice, there is free and reciprocal recognition of degrees, but I shall have this matter investigated, and if the law advisers are in any doubt about this, I shall have it rectified.
I want to thank those hon members who have given their qualified or unqualified support to the legislation. I thank them for their contributions and for their analyses of the legislation. I may tell the hon member Dr Welgemoed that I have already given instructions for the subsidy formula of universities, as far as research is concerned, to be revised to include the writing of textbooks of university standard. The Universities and Technikons Advisory Council is already investigating this matter. But I regard it as a matter of high priority and I am very grateful to the hon member for having brought the matter to our attention again.
I also believe that he made a valuable suggestion when he said that the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council should perhaps lay down guidelines for the reciprocal recognition of degrees obtained elsewhere, with a view to advanced studies. In my experience, however, it is not really necessary to lay down such guidelines, because the universities act with care and great circumspection when they recognize qualifications obtained at other universities. However, I shall refer the matter to the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council, and I shall ask them to ascertain whether my view is correct or whether the matter should perhaps receive attention once again.
I should also like to agree with the hon member—in fact, I said so in my speech as well—that where technikons are now receiving the responsibility of participating in the training of teachers, this should not mean that they are going to enter spheres which are already covered by the universities and training colleges. I have said that new possibilities should be developed in this way, especially in the technical and occupation-orientated directions, where technikons have an infrastructure of their own. The intention is not to introduce totally new teachers’ training departments or sections, but to train teachers with the help of the existing facilities as far as possible.
As regards the hon member’s request that the vice-chancellors or rectors of the universities and technikons should be asked to make an annual report available in which they should furnish certain information, I take pleasure in informing the hon member that this is already being done every year. A stack of reports of universities and technikons is tabled every year. Some of them contain beautiful illustrations, while others are presented in a more prosaic way. In any case, such reports are available, and I believe that the way in which they are presented is also an indication of the character of the university concerned.
Mr Speaker, I believe I have already dealt with the objections raised by the hon member for Koedoespoort, as well as those of the hon member for Durban North. I have also referred to the contribution made by the hon member for Virginia in connection with the Joint Matriculation Board and the admission of new members to the Committee of University Principals and the Committee of Technikon Principles. I believe that I have dealt with all the important points, and I want to thank hon members once again for their participation, their analysis, their questions and their support.
Question agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Bill read a Second Time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
Mr Speaker, as we made clear during previous stages of this Bill, we are opposed to this measure for four major reasons. The first reason is that we object to this vehicle being used as a method of financing general energy projects. We believe there are other ways in which this can be done; departmental estimates being the normal way. While we are not opposed to such energy investment projects—we are indeed eager to support such projects—we do not believe that this is the way in which it should be financed.
Secondly, we object as a matter of principle to the fact that this fund is not audited by the Auditor-General. As we have said before, daylight is the best auditor. It is a point of principle with us, and as long as this fund is not audited by the Auditor-General we shall have an objection to it. We therefore have a particular objection to this fund being expanded without the Auditor-General having access to it.
Thirdly, we object to the broadening of the scope of the fund into a general energy fund while the activities of this fund are shrouded in a cloak of secrecy. This brings me to the hon the Minister’s astonishing assertion during the Committee Stage, when he said there was no secrecy in respect of SOF funds. Referring to the assertion of the hon the Minister, as I recall it, he said, and I quote:
This was indeed an astonishing assertion, Mr Speaker. It was also a very far-reaching accusation levelled against me by the hon the Minister. I should therefore like to draw the attention of hon members to the following salient facts.
Firstly, the State Oil Fund Act (Act No 38 of 1977), as amended by Act No 30 of 1979, states the following in section lB(d), under the heading “Offenses and Penalties”:
If that is not a secrecy provision, Mr Speaker, specifically in connection with the State Oil Fund, then I do not know what a secrecy provision is. Furthermore, also for the record, the State Oil Fund (Pty) Limited is a private company, the shareholding of which is 100% held by the State Fuel Fund Association (Pty) Limited. The shares of the SFFA are in turn held 50% by the IDC and 50% by a company called Con Oil (Pty) Limited.
It is all a con. [Interjections.]
I am not aware of any public document which exists and to which I have had access in which the accounts of the State Oil Fund or any of the oil companies to which I have now referred, are available. I challenge the hon the Minister to tell us where the State Oil Fund accounts are available in any public document or are available to us as public representatives in a public way. Furthermore, there is the firm impression on the part of hon members in these benches and among the public at large that oil matters are shrouded in a cloak of the deepest secrecy. This is not something that we have sucked out of our thumbs. It is an impression that has been gained as a result of specific Acts of this Parliament and also as a result of the attitude expressed by the Government. Let us look at the position. It is my view that the questions of oil money, oil policy, oil procurement and oil investment have all been shrouded in strict secrecy for years. For instance, in regard to the Salem debate that we had in this House last year, the hon the Minister will remember that there was a tremendous brouhaha over the fact that the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central had even raised the matter. There was a special debate that arose from the fact that the Government had appeared to have taken steps to prevent the information released by the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central in this House being published. If that was not an attempt to shroud oil matters in secrecy then I do not know what is.
There are specific provisions in Acts covering this matter, and the Petroleum Products Act, No 20 of 1977, is a case in point. Section 4 of that Act headed “Secrecy” makes it quite clear that:
- (a) for the purpose of performing his duties or functions in terms of this Act; or
- (b) when required to do so by order of any court or in terms of any law.
There is also section 4A of that Act which under the heading “Prohibition of publication of certain information” provides …
Order! I am sorry to interrupt the hon member but is this question of secrecy addressed in the Bill now under discussion?
Mr Speaker, may I address you on this matter? As I understand the approach of the hon member for Constantia, it is that the hon the Minister made a very serious accusation against him in his reply to the Committee Stage debate which the hon member was unable to take up in the Committee Stage. Mr Speaker himself then intimated that the hon member could take up the matter at the Third Reading, which he is now doing.
The hon member may proceed.
Thank you, Sir. This provision is in fact very pertinent to our accusation that the State Oil Fund is shrouded in secrecy. Section 4A of the Petroleum Products Act provides:
- (a) information in relation to—
- (i) the source, manufacture, transportation, destination, storage, quantity or stock level of any petroleum products acquired or manufactured or being acquired or manufactured for or in the Republic.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon member is now quoting from the Petroleum Products Act and amending legislation in that regard is at present on the Order Paper. The Act from which the hon member is quoting is not the legislation under discussion at present. He is now discussing a totally different principle contained in other legislation and, as I said, there is legislation in that regard on the Order Paper that we shall discuss at a later stage.
Order! I am listening very carefully to what the hon member for Constantia is saying and I shall allow the hon member to complete his argument particularly because he is now reacting to a remark which was apparently made by the hon the Minister in the Committee Stage debate. However, I should like to ask the hon member not to dwell on this at too great length.
Mr Speaker, the point I wish to highlight in regard to this provision is that it refers specifically to the manufacture and storage of petroleum products together with all the other prohibitions. The State Oil Fund has specific purposes, one of the most important of these being the financing of Sasol. This has to do with the manufacture of petroleum products in the Republic of South Africa. Another specific object of the State Oil Fund when it was launched was the acquisition of a strategic stockpile. Therefore, the question of manufacture and storage must surely cover the State Oil Fund in this respect.
There are other Acts in this regard as well to which I should like simply to refer and ask the hon the Minister to tell us whether they also cover oil matters because the information of this side of the House is that they do. There is the National Supplies Procurement Act, No 89 of 1970, as amended by Act No 73 of 1979. It has a secrecy provision which we find in section 8. It also contains a prohibition of disclosure of certain information in section 8A which makes it an offence to disclose information which has been subjected to a certain order in terms of section 2 or 3(1). Is it not correct that oil has been covered by this provision? A final point that can be mentioned is that the Exchequer and Audit Act, 1975, in section 7 excludes accounts of a confidential nature from being audited by the Auditor-General. Perhaps that provision also applies to oil matters and perhaps the hon the Minister can clarify that.
All in all I stand by what I have said. I said that oil matters are shrouded in the deepest secrecy and that I take exception to the hon the Minister’s astonishing assertion in this House that certainly there has never been any secrecy related to the State Oil Fund. The hon the Minister went on further and he said, if I remember him correctly:
I should like to challenge him to provide me with the accounts of the State Oil Fund since its inception because if words mean anything, his assertion in the Committee Stage would lead me to believe that I am now making a perfectly fair request. Further I would challenge him also to agree to the accounts being considered by the Select Committee on Public Accounts. Furthermore I should like the hon the Minister in his reply to this debate perhaps to specify the extent to which these matters relating to the State Oil Fund open to public discussion and publication. Perhaps in that way he could provide a useful service to many of the newspapers and journals who take an interest in this matter.
There is another point which I should like to discuss in this Third Reading debate. The hon the Minister never replied to this point during the Second Reading debate. It has a bearing on what the money is to be spent on after the purposes of the fund have been expanded in terms of the Bill. I refer to the question of the Sasol/Selliers case which is being held in camera. It has been suggested that this money in the State Oil Fund might be used to settle any claim arising out of the Sasol/Selliers case, and if so, it would be a very disturbing development. It would be a wrong and devious method of financing a claim. We could not possibly agree to money which has accumulated in the State Oil Fund being used via the backdoor to finance a claim arising out of that case. If there is a price to be paid for problems or mistakes which have been made by the Government or its senior officials, then this must be made known to the public. The public must know what price it has to pay, and we could never agree to this fund being used to cover any embarrassment or mistake or wrongdoing. I should like to ask the hon the Minister to give us the categorical assurance that this fund could not and will not in terms of this Bill be used to finance that case if it goes wrong.
Finally our objection to the Bill relates to our perception of economic priorities. We have said it before that we think that it is dubious economics for the Government to sit in one hand with an accumulated fund which apparently stands at R1 087,6 million and to take from the public in the form of GST and penal taxes with the other hand. It seems quite wrong. We have made our objections to that plain. We do not believe that national priorities should be set in this way. For all these reasons we have to oppose the Third Reading.
Mr Speaker, as was the case during the Second Reading debate, the hon member for Constantia again tried to turn this whole matter into a terribly strange and mysterious affair. He puts me in mind of what was said about a certain politician in South West Africa. His name was Barney and he had previously worked in a circus. When he entered politics, people said: “You can get Barney out of the circus, but you cannot get the circus out of Barney.” I get the idea that one can get oil away from the hon member, but that one would not be able to get him away from oil. If he hears the word “oil”, he starts dreaming about secrecy, fraud and all kinds of ugly manifestations. He is like someone who uses LSD and then has all kinds of hallucinations. If the hon member hears the name “State Oil Fund”, he carries on the way he has just been carrying on. He devoted 90% of his speech to something we very clearly told him had nothing to do with this Bill. The thirteenth item on the Order Paper is the Petroleum Products Amendment Bill, and there one is dealing with a very sensitive matter of secrecy, because it is very necessary, vitally necessary, to have secrecy in regard to certain aspects. We can debate that matter in full, however, when that Bill comes up for discussion. I am dying to enter into a debate with him about whether certain people botched things up or whether certain people committed an offence or not. It is necessary for us to again thoroughly discuss, in Parliament, the question of secrecy. The Advocate-General is in the process of investigating the whole matter, and we shall therefore again have an opportunity to talk about it. The hon member for Constantia moved an amendment, and in his reply to the Second Reading debate the hon the Minister spoke very nicely to him. The hon member for Yeoville asked me whether I did not think it would be better for the Auditor-General to audit these funds. Before I even knew what the hon the Minister’s answer to that would be, I said that I would have no objection, but that such a step would have to be investigated in practice. The hon the Minister subsequently said that the proposal had merit and that the question of the auditing of the oil funds, the role of the Auditor-General and the role of Parliament would be given thorough consideration and undertook, if it were in any way possible, to come to this Parliament next year with legislation in that connection. The hon the Minister then said that since he was prepared to do that, the hon member would do well to withdraw his amendment. I have been a medical doctor for 23 years. One can get me out of my practice, but one can never get the practice out of me. I noticed that the hon Chief Whip leaned over to the hon member for Constantia and asked him whether they should not do as the hon the Minister asked. Other hon members of the party were apparently also prepared to debate the matter at a later stage. Only the hon member for Constantia, however, would not agree to it. [Interjections.] I do not think I have diagnosed the situation incorrectly. One simply cannot get that hon member away from oil. The speech he made a short while ago proved that once again. All this debating is really unnecessary. The hon the Minister did not say that there was no secrecy, but that the aspects involved in this specific Bill had nothing to do with secrecy.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member to comment on the plea of the hon member for Constantia that these funds should be audited by the Auditor-General? Is he in favour of it?
I do not think the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central was in the House at the time I discussed that. I said I had no objection to it in principle, but that we should look into the aspect of its practical implementation. That is also precisely what the hon the Minister said. The Minister said he was in the process of investigating the matter, and that if it had any merit he would specifically be coming to Parliament with the legislation to give substance to what had been proposed. There is certainly a great deal of merit in it and I agree with it. That is, however, why I am saying that the whole argument of the hon member for Constantia is irrelevant and has nothing to do with the price of eggs.
Mention was also made of secrecy. Because the owner of the Greek café on the corner does not present all his papers for inspection, we surely cannot call that secrecy. Surely one cannot say that SA Breweries is a secret organization. All the laws of the land applicable to companies, however, for example the Companies Act and the laws relating to fraud, are at issue here. As far as the Oil Fund is concerned there certainly is private auditing. It is therefore not a question of secrecy in that sense of the word.
I want to conclude by referring to the effects of this Bill. That is, after all, what is discussed in a Third Reading stage. What is involved here is the expenditure of the relevant funds. The hon member wanted particulars of the statements. We debated this at great lenght. We know, do we not, that shares to the value of R2,62 billion were sold. We know that an amount of R887,6 million was paid in. We know that R240 million was used to maintain a 30% shareholding in Sasol. We know of the R1 940 million that still has to be repaid over a five-year period. We know, in precise detail, that on 30 April the State Oil Fund had R887,6 million plus something like R59,3 million in cash. We have said, cent for cent, exactly what that money is to be used for.
Mention was also made of the utilization of the four cents per litre. In that connection, however, I have a problem. The hon the Minister indicated how two cents of that amount would be divided into amounts of 0,22 cents, 0,055 cents, 1,75 cents, etc. My problem is that if I add it all up it comes to 2,025 cents and not 2 cents. That is my only problem as far as that is concerned. Other than that it has been explained to the hon member, cent for cent, what we are going to do with the money. The whole matter is being made more flexible. Although we originally said that that money could only be used to obtain fuel from coal and for nothing else, for practical and obvious reasons we are now casting the net much wider. It is still, however, specifically a question of energy. We are saying that R150 million is going to be made available to Escom on an interest-free basis. We are saying that another R20 million is going to be utilized for the stabilization of the petrol price.
Perhaps I should just make one remark about the petrol price. It is part of the purpose of this legislation to keep the price of petrol down. I must say that it is extremely regrettable that the petrol price increased as a result of the 10% GST that is now being imposed. In one of the BP’s publications in Germany in May of this year we see that the average price of petrol in Europe is 74 cents per litre. According to that publication, it is by far the lowest in Germany, ie 62 cents per litre. In Italy it is 97 cents per litre, in Denmark 79 cents per litre, in Spain 75 cents per litre, in France 75 cents per litre, in the Netherlands 74 cents per litre and in Austria and Belguin 74 cents per litre. So I could go on. South Africa’s price for 93-octane is 61,8 cents per litre in Johannesburg. In the Cape the price is considerably lower. So we are indeed succeeding in keeping the petrol price low. As a result of certain factors, for example GST, it is very difficult to keep the price constant. I said that if the value of the rand as against the dollar decreased from 89 cents to 72 cents, this would mean a difference of 10 cents per litre. We must be able to impose some sort of buffer, and that is what we are doing.
Another aspect of this legislation, on which not enough emphasis is being placed, is the very important assistance to the agricultural sector. A great deal of sympathy is extended to the agricultural sector and everything related to it, for example the droughts and floods. The farmers really are having a terribly hard time of it. The R20 million that the agricultural sector has to pay up to the end of the year for Escom extension facilities in being written off, with this fund being used to pay for it. The hon member said that provision for that should be made in the Budget. The money should be obtained elsewhere. But surely we do not have the money available for that purpose. The hon member is arguing at odds with himself. We do, after all, now have the money available. So why attempt to get the money elsewhere?
I would be glad to debate the matter of secrecty with the hon member when the Petroleum Products Amendment Bill is discussed. I cannot do so now, because this is not the place for it.
This legislation is merely a practical measure. The hon member for Yeoville contended that what was being done in the Budget was “illegal”. This Bill is ensuring that it is no longer “illegal”. The effect will be to protect the consumer and the country. Selling off certain stockpiled supplies without jeopardizing our strategic position could not be done without this legislation. This is, however, now being done and the petrol price is being kept low. One can really have no objection to this legislation in principle. We were wise enough to entrench the principles in the legislation, in spite of objections, and that is why it is a pleasure for me to support the Third Reading of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, we have no fault to find with this legislation.
It is true that a fair amount of uncertainty arose in connection with the importing of crude oil, but I feel that we should not link the Salem affair and other incidents to this legislation. We must be careful not to look for spectres everywhere. We should rather consider the spending of these specific funds, and how this should be done.
I feel that this legislation should be supported because the money in the State Oil Fund cannot simply be there unutilized. The judicious use of those funds can only be to the benefit of the country as a whole. For that reason we are able to support this legislation.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Yeoville referred to certain matters in His Second Reading speech and in the Committee Stage, and I think it would be appropriate if I referred to two of these matters to make it clear beyond any measure of doubt as to what I said in my Second Reading reply.
I have already responded to a certain degree of the first problem mentioned by the hon member, namely the investment of the R441,2 million with the Public Debt Commissioners on an interest-free basis. But let me refer to it again. This money is invested with the Public Debt Commissioners, as are all available funds in the State Oil Fund. I repeat: As are all the available funds in the State Oil Fund. The decision to invest it interest-free was taken by the Cabinet. Further disposal rests with Public Debt Commissioners and with the hon the Minister of Finance. Should any further questions arise, the hon member for Yeoville has the right to approach the hon the Minister of Finance in connection with it. I wanted to refer to this briefly.
Secondly, the hon member for Yeoville asked during the Second Reading debate that someone—and I think because it is relevant to the Bill before the House now I should be that “someone”—should show him the figure of R163 million to which the hon the Minister of Finance referred in his Budget speech. I will do that very briefly to also clarify this point. I am quite surprised that the hon member for Yeoville could not find this figure in the final edition of the Estimate of Expenditure. The amount of R163 million consists of two components. The first component is made up of the 2 cents per litre of the 4 cents per litre customs and/or excise duty on a litre of petrol, distilled fuel or residual fuel. This amounts to R150 million; in other words, the 2 cents per litre on these fuels amounts to R150 million, and this is also reflected in the second and final print, RP3 of 1984, of the Estimate of Revenue for the financial year ending 31 March 1985 under the heading “Miscellaneous Income” on page 8. That R150 million is there.
Secondly, the amount of R13 million is generated by the one cent per litre customs and/or excise duty on certain distilled or residual fuels, which will no longer be a charge upon the State Revenue Fund in terms of this Bill. The State Revenue Fund will therefore obtain R13 million more because this money will not be paid over to the State Oil Fund. This amount is included on page 9 of the second and final print, RP3 of 1984, of the Estimate of Revenue for the financial year ending 31 March 1985, under the heading “Revenue: Customs and Excise Duties”. It forms part of the R153 million which is the difference between the income as printed in the first print and that printed in the second and final print of the Estimate of Revenue for this financial year. Similarly, in order to give effect to the aforementioned arrangement the amount which accrues to the State Oil Fund—the 4 cents per litre—is shown as R300 million on page 4 of the second and final print. I do hope that this will clarify the position for the hon member for Yeoville.
*The hon member for Constantia again touched upon two aspects which he also raised in the Second Reading debate and in the committee stage. I briefly want to deal with one matter involving security aspects relating to the State Oil Fund. It is very clear that the hon member does not have the vaguest conception of the difference between the SFF Association, the Strategic Oil Fund and the State Oil Fund. He has not the vaguest conception of the difference between the activities of these three bodies. As regards the oil transactions of the SFF Association there is some security involved. That will also continue to be the case as long as South Africa remains on the boycott list. Until such time as South Africa can freely purchase oil from international sources, the activities of the SFF Association will, for the most part, continue to be blanketed in secrecy. I should like to repeat what I said previously: We are prepared to be more open about these activities with the main spokesmen of the study groups on mineral and energy affairs of the various parties. We have, as it is, begun discussing matters with them. We are also prepared to be more open with the various news media, for example the newspapers. We have already begun discussing matters with those people. As far as the Equalization Fund is concerned, there is a certain measure of security involved. The sections in the State Oil Fund Act to which the hon member referred, ie Sections 1A and 1B, refer specifically to the Equalization Fund and not to the SOF. In regards to certain funds accruing to the Equalization Fund, there is always going to be a measure of security in the future. I reiterate, however, that we are prepared to adopt a more openhearted approach to hon members and the Press in this connection. The hon member, however, specifically referred to the sections involving the Equalization Fund. He has not, however, yet succeeded in showing us where there are security measures involving the State Oil Fund. If the hon member regards the auditing of the accounts of an ordinary private company as security blanketing, there is no company in South Africa that does not operate under a security blanket. There are consequently no security aspects involved in the funds in the State Oil Fund per se. I therefore stick to my standpoint that if the hon member is specifically referring to the funds of the State Oil Fund, he is misleading the House because they are not blanketed by security.
Are you prepared to release those accounts to me and to the Select Committee on Public Accounts?
Mr Speaker, I have no control over those accounts. Those accounts are the property of a company registered in terms of the Companies Act. The hon member could then just as well ask me whether I would be prepared to have him examine any private company’s books. [Interjections.] The hon member would do well to keep quiet now. I am not empowered to allow the hon member to examine the accounts and audit reports of a private company registered in terms of the Companies Act.
But here we have to do with public money.
I think the hon member Dr Vilonel correctly stated the case when he said that the hon member for Constantia is so obsessed with the question of oil that he wants everything blanketed with oil. In my reply to the Second Reading debate I explained to the hon member in detail what gave rise to the SFF’s involvement in oil purchases. I also informed the PFP’s chief spokesman on energy affairs, the hon member for Edenvale, about this in detail. We have explained the changed circumstances in recent months and said that this had now given us an opportunity to reconsider the whole question of the SOF, the SFF, the purchase of oil and the administration and control involved. I also said—and the hon member Dr Vilonel confirmed this—that in principle we had no objection to the funds being audited by the Auditor General. We are looking into the matter and I want the hon member to take my word for that because in principle we do not disagree with him. He goes on asking these questions, however, and as long as he goes on doing so I shall be giving him the same answers.
In his Second Reading speech the hon member also said that thousands of millions of rand—I think he spoke of R2 000 million, and he must please correct me if I am wrong—was involved in this.
That is my estimate of the amount of money that has flowed through the fund.
Yes, R2 000 million.
More or less?
Yes, more or less. The hon member said, did he not, that more or less R2 000 million had, in some way, filtered through the State Oil Fund and that there was not a living soul who knew where that R2 000 million had gone. Mr Speaker, that has, of course, merely been done to broadcast to the world that there is supposedly no one who knows what is being done with the money now being made available to the State Oil Fund. Surely we dealt with this matter in some detail. The hon member Dr Vilonel also referred to it. Let us, however, just do so once more for the record.
Since the inception of the SOF in 1977, what funds have gone to the SFF and how were those amounts divided up? This amount of R2 000 million is, of course, an extremely speculative one. It relates to a story which, in turn, can be embroidered upon quite prolifically, with the possibility of attaching some or other gossip to each individual facet that branches out in this way. That is, after all, the standard pattern these days with regard to all matters involving oil in South Africa. Let us just take note of what has happened to the SOF money, how it was obtained and for what purpose it was utilized. Let us also just note where the remaining SOF money now is. Since the State Oil Fund Act was put into operation in 1977, an amount of R2 159,9 million, forthcoming from customs and excise duties, ended up in that fund. The hon member for Constantia would do well to listen now because this is only half the story. This amount does not include the amounts employed in combating oil pollution and for the establishment of infrastructure at the tank sites. Those amounts are excluded. I am now referring merely to the SOF money. The other money was spent on transport, whilst a portion of it also went to the SFF. I think I said it previously in this House. Possibly I also mentioned it in the discussion of my Vote. It was an amount of R2 159,9 million. From the Equalization Fund an amount of R1 998,1 million was paid to the SOF. This was money in the form of interest on investments. Sasol 2 earned R257,6 million in interest. Sasol 3 earned R17,3 million in interest. The Public Debt Commissioner’s interest amounted to R424,4 million. This gives us a total of R299,3 million.
There was, of course, also further revenue from the SOF, ie from the profits earned from the sale of the interests of Sasol 2. That profit amounted to exactly R429,7 million. We also negotiated loans. The SOF negotiated a variety of loans in terms of the authorization granted by the Act. The loans amount to R551,2 million. The total amount of money that was therefore channeled to the SOF in this connection was R5 438,2 million.
How was that money spent? Sasol was granted a loan of R1 491,9 million. That amount is repayable over a period of five years. Sasol 3’s investments in the SOF amounts to R2 588,3 million. Expenditure on repayments and interest on loans thus far amounts to a total of R411 million. Then we also invested R947 million with the Public Debt Commissioner. If we were to add up all these amounts we would find that they came to R5 438,2 million. The amount of R947 million represents, as I have already said in my Second Reading speech, an amount of R887,6 million in cash from Sasol transactions and R59,4 million as the available cash supply at the SOF.
That is, in very broad terms, the total financing flow pattern in the SOF. I therefore reiterate that there is no cloak of secrecy as far as this matter is concerned.
The hon member also asked who had to pay the SFF’s fine or commission or whatever in the Cilliers case. The hon member is busy speculating in this connection. I am not at all convinced that there will be a proven case against the SFF. I do not want to have myself involved in speculation. All I want to say in this connection is that these are assets realized from Sasol transactions and that the total assets are solely being utilized in terms of the provisions of the Act, which are now to be amended. That is all I want to say about that.
As mentioned earlier, the primary aim of this Bill is to make provision for the receipt and utilization of moneys obtained from the further privatization of Sasol 2. I think we have now mentioned these amounts ad nauseum. An attempt will similarly be made to give substance to the Government’s endeavour to continue keeping the fuel price within reasonable limits. Provision therefore also had to be made for the inflow, into the Equalization Fund, of funds obtained from the sale of a portion of the Republic’s stockpiled crude-oil supplies. I think that as far as fuel is concerned, the consumer can rightfully be proud of the investment made in the Sasol projects, and we have seen what profits have been realized. Not only has there been a large-scale effort made to be self-sufficient in this sphere of fuel supplies, but it was also possible to obtain, on this investment, a return that is very definitely not to be sneezed at. Without capital one cannot, with the best ideals imaginable, do anything constructive. I have already referred to the investment possibilities as far as this money is concerned, an aspect the hon member Dr Vilonel also mentioned.
As a result of the fact that a considerable number of members of this House have, for quite some time now, been thinking in terms of a total energy strategy for the Republic of South Africa, the department itself has been working towards this. The idea of an energy bank, has, for example, repeatedly been aired in the past. Although the legislation before the House does make provision for general principles governing the possible utilization of funds in the State Oil Fund, it is and continues to be merely an interim measure built up around the existing statutory provisions. The greater availability of funds by way of the State Oil Fund, does, for logical reasons, necessitate a review of the possible methods for utilizing this money. At the same time it compels us to reflect on the efficiency or otherwise of existing legislation and structures involved in the Republic’s energy strategy. The time is probably now ripe for a larger-scale evaluation and review, to the optimum benefit of the country and all its people, of the Republic’s energy functions, when and where necessary. Hon members will understand, however, that such a campaign cannot take place overnight.
As far as the hon member for Constantia is concerned, I want to reiterate that in principal we have no problem in regard to the moneys of the State Oil Fund possibly being audited by the Auditor-General. As I have already said, this cannot take place overnight. Energy is an important component of the national economy and everyone has an interest in it. It therefore goes without saying that a multiplicity of interest groups would have to be drawn together to work out the best possible energy plan for South Africa.
I also want to thank the hon member Dr Vilonel very sincerely for his support and for the way in which he dealt with the majority of the hon member for Constantia’s problems.
I also want to thank the hon member for Langlaagte very sincerely for the support he and his party are giving the Bill. He was quite right in saying that there are other opportunities for us to discuss the security aspects involved in purchasing oil. It has nothing—and I want to repeat this—to do with the SOF; it has to do with the SFF, which is the purchasing organization. The fact that the SOF is a fully subsidiary of the SFF makes no difference whatsoever as far as this is concerned. I thank hon members sincerely for their support.
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—99: Alant, T G; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Barnard, S P; Blanché, J P I; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; Cuyler, W J; Delport, W H; De Pontes, P; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Du Plessis, PTC; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hardingham, R W; Hayward, SAS; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Hoon, J H; Hugo, P B B; Koornhof, P G J; Kotzé, G J; Kotzé, S F; Le Grange, L; Le Roux, Z P; Ligthelm, N W; Louw, E V d M; Louw, M H; Malherbe, G J; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Miller, R B; Munnik, LAPA; Nothnagel, A E; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Pieterse, J E; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Raw, W V; Rencken, C R E; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, W J; Scholtz, E M; Schutte, DPA; Simkin, C H W; Snyman, W J; Steyn, D W; Swanepoel, K D; Terblanche, G P D; Theunissen, L M; Thompson, A G; Treurnicht, A P; Uys, C; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, W L; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Heerden, R F; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Staden, F A H; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Van Zyl, J J B; Veldman, M H; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, G v N; Vilonel, J J; Visagie, J H; Vlok, A J; Watterson, D W; Welgemoed, P J; Wilkens, B. H.
Tellers: S J de Beer, W T Kritzinger, R P Meyer, J J Niemann, L van der Watt and H M J van Rensburg (Mossel Bay).
Noes—20: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R M; Cronjé, P C; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Gastrow, PHP; Hulley, R R; Malcomess, D J N; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Sive, R; Slabbert, F v Z; Soal, P G; Swart, R A F; Tarr, M A; Van der Merwe, S S.
Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a Third Time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
The Bill is quite simple and does not contain any contentious provisions.
Clause 1 contains a few amendments in regard to definitions. Firstly the concept “nursery school” is being replaced by the concept “pre-primary school”. The purpose of the envisaged amendment is as much aimed at correct terminology as it is at the promotion of terminological uniformity between the various education departments.
What is also being proposed is the deletion of the definitions of “community school” and “State school” and the insertion of the definition of “public school”. From the historical backdrop to Education and Training, it is apparent that initially there was a very important distinction between State schools and community schools. Before the commencement of the Education and Training Act in 1979, community schools were established by the communities themselves or by Administration Boards. The department paid teachers’ salaries and provided school furniture and books. Teachers, however, were in the employ of school boards. State schools, on the other hand, were established, with State funds, by the erstwhile Department of Public Works, and teachers were directly in the employ of the department. From 1980 both these schools have been erected and maintained by the department, with all teachers being in the employ of the department.
In terms of existing regulations promulgated in terms of the Education and Training Act, 1979, a control board or a school committee can be instituted for both types of schools. The stage has therefore been reached in which the differences between these two types of schools have become historico-traditional in nature, essentially being embodied merely in their names. Doing away with the distinction between State schools and community schools, so that they will in future be known by the single name “public schools”, has the wholehearted support and approval of the Council for Education and Training. Quite a few of the clauses relate to the substitution of the words “State school” and “community school” by the words “public school”, or the deletion or adaption of sections of the Act as a result of the fact that the two names are being done away with.
Clause 4 of the Bill provides for section 6 of the principal Act, which is obsolete as a result of the amendment of section 5, to be substituted by a new provision which is essentially only a transitional provision and which contains nothing new. It is necessary to arrange for schools, instituted in terms of sections 5 and 6 of the principal Act, now to be regarded as public schools which are to be instituted in terms of section 5, to be amended in terms of clause 3.
†The change in name from “Teacher Training Schools and Colleges” to “Colleges of Education” is relevant to the training offered at these institutions. From the time that a Senior Certificate was regarded as a prerequisite for admission to all Colleges of Education of the department, the distinction that had been drawn between training schools and training colleges became irrelevant. With this in mind and with a view of accomplishing uniformity between Departments of Education as far as nomenclature is concerned, it has been decided henceforth to refer to these institutions as Colleges of Education. It also became necessary to amend sections 34 and 44(l)(f) of the principal Act so as to accomplish greater clarity and uniformity as far as the use of the words “discharge”, “suspend” and “expel” is concerned. The words “suspend” and “expel” are already contained in the regulations made in terms of the Education and Training Act, 1979.
Clause 13 contains provisions regarding the limitation of time in connection with and other requirements for the institution of legal proceedings. The insertion of this clause is regarded as ncessary for the protection of the interests of the Government and those of the employees of this department. This clause, for example, prohibits the institution of legal proceedings against the Minister or the department after a considerable period of time has elapsed since the cause of action arose. Staff and circumstances change so rapidly that it is sometimes extremely difficult to determine the true facts and circumstances surrounding a cause of action even after a period of only six months. This provision is also contained in legislation of other Government departments.
*Clause 14 envisages extending the provisions for making regulations, so that the making of grants-in-aid, subsidies and loans in regard to private schools, and the circumstances in which such grants-in-aid, subsidies or loans may be terminated, reduced or withdrawn, can be governed by way of regulation. At present, for example, subsidies are already being granted to private pre-primary schools.
The other aspects in the Bill are self-explanatory, and so that is all I want to say about this.
Mr Speaker, this short amending Bill has three main features, as the hon the Minister has pointed out. The first is one of changes in terminology. Nursery schools are now for instance to be called pre-primary schools. The second feature is that the distinction between State schools and community schools is being eliminated. Both are now to be called public schools. This is a direct consequence of the implementation of the Education and Training Act of 1979. The Department of Education and Training has taken over community schools and the differences between State schools and community schools have now, to all intents and purposes, disappeared. The third feature is the removal of certain sections from the Act of 1979 which were there as transitional procedures, and which have now become obsolete. We have no objection to these changes.
We do have a query relating to clause 14 concerning the reference to “owners or governing bodies” of State-aided schools. The intention of the amending Bill is to delete “owners or”. In the definitions a governing body of a State-aided school is defined as the owner or the manager. In other words, the owner is the governing body. Hence, it would appear logical to delete “owners or” in section 44 of the Act. However, the term “owner or governing body” appears in a number of other sections of the Act as well, for example sections 8, 9(1) and 10. In the same way, therefore, the words “owners or” could be deleted from those sections as well. We believe that the reason why it is being deleted in section 44 is that that section is currently being amended in other ways and, that being so, it was decided to delete the “owners or” which is unnecessary. It was therefore convenient to do it at this stage. The query does arise, however, whether, if it is changed in section 44, by clause 14, and it is not changed elsewhere, there is not a possibility of creating confusion in that different terminology is used in respect of words defined in the definitions of the Act to mean the same thing. Somebody reading the Act may wonder why in one place there is reference to a “governing body” only and in other parts of the Act there is reference to “owner or governing body”. Such a person could then come to the incorrect conclusion that something different is meant in the other places in the Act. We would like the hon the Minister to comment on that when he replies to the Second Reading debate.
We also have some problems with clause 13 which, as the hon the Minister has said, has the effect of limiting the rights of people to take legal action. However, we will debate that matter in the Committee Stage. As the hon the Minister knows, we already have an amendment on the Order Paper. Otherwise, we have no problems with the Bill and will be supporting the Second Reading.
Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon member for Cape Town Gardens for his support for this measure.
This amending Bill should be seen mainly as a measure to modernize the existing legislation. In this amending legislation Black education is, in the first place, being led to maturity and to self-sufficiency, thus recognizing that education for Blacks has now finally come of age.
Here we are taking leave of an old existing practice, of a type of school which since 1979 has existed only in the terminology of legislation, but has already served its purpose, namely the community school. These schools played a very important role in the past. As a matter of fact I want to go so far as to say that Black education would not have made as much progress as it has if it had not been for the firm foundations laid by the community schools. These schools were erected mainly by the respective administration boards from funds obtained, inter alia, from levies paid by the relevant communities and parents. Schools were even erected by the parents themselves. This was an interim measure which in view of the involvement of the community had certain merits.
At this stage it is fitting to convey our thanks to the parents and the relevant communities who, when the need for education for their children required it, were prepared to contribute financially in order to make education for their children possible. Now we are officially entering the era of public schools in which effect is being given to the fundamental point of departure of the Government to strive for equal education opportunities for all the inhabitants of South Africa, irrespective of race or colour.
I now come to clause 13, to which the hon member for Cape Town Gardens also referred. It concerns the insertion of the provision that after the expiry of a period of six calendar months no proceedings based on purported or proven contraventions of whatever nature may be instituted against the Minister, teachers or a governing body. It is actually a pity that it is necessary to insert such a clause, but it is unfortunately necessary that it should form part of the Bill.
I want to make an appeal for calm to be restored in Black schools and I want to appeal to those persons who are going about identifying supposed grievances or problems and then treating them as, and instituting them as, a criminal process on behalf of a pupil, to cease doing so. This is not furthering the interests of education. In the long run it is the pupil who suffers and who finds himself on the losing side. I want to appeal for calm at the few schools where there is unrest, particularly those in Atteridgeville in Pretoria, so that clauses can be resumed.
The official Opposition, through the hon member for Cape Town Gardens, will move an amendment in regard to the period of six months during the Committee Stage. They will ask for the period to be extended. In my opinion six months is, however, a reasonable period of time in which to institute proceedings. I maintain that an action after six months may be a purported action with motives other than those one would want to see. I want to repeat that troublemakers, activists, agitators and vagrants should stay away from schools so that pupils will have the opportunity to perform their primary task, namely of attending school, receiving training and qualifying themselves academically.
We on this side of the House support this Bill.
Mr Speaker, as hon members who spoke before me have indicated, the first part of this Bill deals with certain technical matters. Certain technical amendments are of necessity being made as a result of certain developments, such as for example the old names “State school” and “community school” falling away and being replaced by “public schools”. As a result a number of clauses in the Bill have to be amended accordingly. There are also other changes in designation such as “nursery school” which becomes “pre-primary school” and “Public Service Commission” which becomes “Commission for Administration”.
Clause 4 inserts a new section. This has to be written into the legislation as a result of the changing of the name to “public schools”. Certain buildings and matters are involved and are part of the public school. The clause is therefore amended accordingly to cover those matters.
In clause 13 a new proposed section is also being inserted. This would seem to be the section that is causing problems. We on this side of the House have no problems with it, however. We are of the opinion that this provision does not deny persons the right to institute legal proceedings against the Minister, a governing body, a teacher or an official. All that is being regulated here are the periods within which this should be done. I think it is essential that if something occurred which led someone to believe that he should institute legal proceedings against the Minister, the department, a governing body, a teacher or an official, the Bill should give him adequate time to institute the proceedings, if it is a case which is of real importance and could give rise to legal proceedings. The periods are long enough. We on this side of the House have no problems with the Bill. We therefore take pleasure in supporting the Second Reading.
Mr Speaker, in his Second Reading speech the hon the Minister indicated clearly that this was not a complicated Bill and that certain consequential amendments were being effected. The hon member for Gezina, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens and the hon member for Koedoespoort pointed out that clauses 4 and 13 in particular were important. In clause 4 the designation “public schools” is being substituted for “Community schools” and this is an improvement.
I should like to associate myself with the appeal made by the hon member for Gezina for greater calm among Black pupils. I do not think that young people always realize that when there are school boycotts or schools are closed for the rest of the academic year, one is losing an entire year as far as one’s career is concerned. If one is in standard IX or in one’s first year at university and one loses a year, that does not sound like much under the circumstances, but after 20 or 30 years’ service in one’s specific career that year one lost may mean R30 000 or R40 000 because one may then be the head of a firm or a school. Today I want to appeal to the Black youth of South Africa to reconsider their boycott and not to prevent those pupils who want to complete their schooling in the shortest time possible from doing so, and to leave them in peace.
In the second place, I want to make an appeal to the parents of the children attending the schools where problems are occurring. Because they now have a greater say in those schools, I want to ask them to exert pressure in their respective communities on the pupils who are causing problems so that greater calm will prevail.
At the same time I want to convey my thanks and appreciation to the hon the Minister for the way in which he is handling this situation at the moment. There is no substitute for open discussion when there is confrontation in a community. Discussion is the only way to defuse confrontation and during the past few months we have seen what success the hon the Minister has achieved by entering into direct discussions with those persons with whom problems are being experienced. I therefore want to ask the hon the Minister to continue to act in this way.
I now want to come back to clauses 4 and 13. I feel that the six months prescribed in terms of clause 13 are quite long enough for anyone to solve a problem he may have with the Minister or anyone else. The longer we make the period, the more difficult it will be to obtain evidence and to deal with the case because people frequently change their addresses. I therefore feel that it will also be easier for the department to handle the case if we set the period at six months.
With these few words I wholeheartedly support the Bill and thank the Minister for introducing it in this House.
Mr Speaker, I want to assure the hon member for Brits that we gladly support him in the representations which he made to the parents and the community in respect of those Black schools where problems are being experienced. It is a pity that those students who would like to study are being prevented from doing so by certain people who have no interest in education. The people who suffer most as a result, are the parents who work very hard to give their children the opportunity to attend school, and it is regrettable that there are those who do not also have their interests at heart.
†Mr Speaker, we listened very carefully to what the hon the Minister had to say in his Second Reading speech, and he will not be surprised to learn that we in fact support this amending Bill. When it comes to actually changing terminology there must always be a motivation for this. The hon the Minister gave us the motivation for the change in the wording and the title and description of certain of the institutions, and this brings it more or less into line with other educational departments. However, it is not as simple as that. It also indicates that there has been a certain amount of growth and development in this department and also in education, and that the actual designation is now a fairly accurate description of the type of educational function that is undertaken in those schools. For instance, a change from nursery school to pre-primary indicates a considerable advancement in the sophistication of the function that is undertaken by the teachers at that particular institution. Also, the fact that a community school has had its name changed and that a state-aided school has been changed to public school indicates a very considerable shift in the means of financing and developing those particular schools. Therefore, although it may merely be a word in the Bill, there is in fact a momentous and a monumental change in the structure and the maintenance of those schools.
We know that the Administration Boards have in the past done quite a considerable amount of work in this direction. While the amount of revenue actually generated by the sale of sorghum beer has probably never been recorded, undoubtedly that profit made on the beer sold to the members of the Black community in the townships has played a very significant role in the funding of these community schools. The funding is now to be taken over entirely by the Department of Education and Training, and no doubt this will relieve many a school board and a school principal of their considerable headaches in connection with the finding of money for the expansion and maintenance of schools.
We noticed from this year’s Budget that considerable increases have been granted by the hon the Minister of Finance to this department for the expansion of the infrastructure of Black education in the urban areas of South Africa. We welcome that, Sir, and I believe that with the change of terminology here we are going to see this function coming to maturity in South Africa as well. In particular I should like to put it to the hon the Minister that we believe that under his management the full potential of which this department is capable will indeed be realized. This is not merely a blatant statement I am making. It is also one of expectation, and certainly one of very sincere desire on the part of this party of seeing education amongst the Black communities take a legitimate and equal position in South Africa.
As far as the other clauses of the Bill are concerned, and in particular the clause which deals with the moratorium on the time available for the institution of legal action, we believe six months is quite adequate. Anyone who has a genuine grievance will not need six months to discover that he has such a grievance. Alternatively it will not take anyone six months to institute legal proceedings or to start legal proceedings. It is not a difficult task at all, and we believe therefore that the period of six months is quite adequate in the circumstances.
The other changes contained in the Bill are mainly terminological in respect of the commission and the Public Service. As far as the definition of owners and governing bodies are concerned, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens, I believe, has dealt quite adequately with these. Perhaps the hon the Minister will see his way clear to removing any further discrepancies which may exist elsewhere in the principal Act as well.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I should like to state that we in this party welcome the amending Bill now before the House, and it will enjoy our full support through all stages.
Mr Speaker, I should like to thank very sincerely all those hon members who have thus far participated in the discussion of this measure. I am very grateful for the support given to the Bill under discussion. I am also grateful for the fact that it is quite clear that hon members have thoroughly acquainted themselves with what is contained in this measure. That is specifically why it was possible, during the Second Reading stage, to put forward several significant ideas in this connection.
†First of all, Mr Speaker, I should like to thank the hon member for Cape Town Gardens for the thorough study which he has obviously made of this Bill. As far as his query is concerned in connection with the owner business, our advice was that it was not necessary to change all of it. If we should discover later, however, that it is necessary to change all of the relevant passages, I believe it can be done. Nevertheless, I believe the intention is quite clear, and therefore I do not think it is necessary to do it at this stage. I do, however, thank the hon member for pointing it out, and also for indicating that there might be confusion. If there should be the slightest doubt in this respect, Mr Speaker, we will come back to this House to remedy the situation.
As far as clause 13 of the Bill is concerned, I agree with what the hon member for Koedoespoort has said. We do not regard it as a limiting of the rights of people. We can, however, debate the matter further during the Committee Stage. Suffice it to say at this stage that we must remember that teachers also have rights, and that they are also in many respects accountable in their personal capacity. Certainly as the hon member for Durban North has just said, if a person has not discovered within a period of six months that he has some grievance, and if he does not feel free at that stage merely to give notice that he wishes to prepare a case within the ensuing six months, his problem can certainly not be very serious at all. This is of course not something which is peculiar to this legislation or to this department but after very thorough consideration on our part we deemed it necessary to propose this by way of this particular measure. We can, however, debate it further during the Committee Stage.
*I should also like to thank the hon member for Gezina very sincerely for his contribution. I think the hon member for Gezina extended a very fitting vote of thanks and tribute to the parents of the Black pupils in our Black schools. Anyone who has anything to do with Black schools knows that one is dealing with people who are, in many cases, almost chronically poor, but who basically very often make sacrifices with a view to contributing towards getting the best possible education for their children. As he rightly said, the whole establishment of community schools reflects the fact that amongst Black parents there is still an involvement in the education of their children. I think it is very fitting for the hon member, from this House, to have expressed a word of appreciation to them.
I also want to thank the hon member for Koedoespoort for having supported the legislation on behalf of his party. He also very clearly made himself very thoroughly conversant with the provisions of the Bill and, as I have said previously, his explanation of the basic motivation for clause 13 accords with our motivation for having it inserted, and I thank the hon member for his support in this regard.
The hon member for Brits also referred to clauses 4 and 13. I thank the hon member for his support for clause 13. He also furnished a plea for a more restful atmosphere at Black schools. I do not think that we need conduct a debate about that at this stage, and I want to content myself with saying that it is a pity that there are schools at present which have been closed down until the end of the year. In the light of certain action on the part of the media and certain campaigns, and in view of certain elements that have begun to make an appearance in Black communities, I want to say very clearly that our Ministry did not leave the children of Atteridgeville in the lurch. We are not the ones who left those children in the lurch. We were compelled to take certain steps which we were basically very sorry to have had to take. I think it is therefore high time those people, who have now had recourse to accusing us of having deprived the children of their right to go to school and of supposedly having left them in the lurch, took a look at themselves to see to what extent people who wear the same shirts they do, and march under the same banners that they do, have contributed to the chaos that eventually compelled us to close those schools down until the end of the year. It is very interesting to see who the people are who are starting to level that accusation at us today.
The hon member also mentioned parental responsibility. I am very grateful to be able to tell him that together with some other people, who have previously been involved with this department, I have had direct experience of parental interests in the case of communities which have a similar authority structure and which, in many respects, are still in the state of flux accompanying the acceptance of specific authority structures. Very often many of these parents are not only subject to economic pressures, but also to very strong political pressure, and one is very grateful for the degree to which, in such circumstances, education has been able to take its course in a tranquil atmosphere.
The hon member also referred to the value of open discussion. There is no doubt that the value of open discussion in a conflict situation lies in the fact that it makes a very important contribution to defusing a situation and to obtaining more knowledge about a situation.
I am very grateful to the hon member for Durban North for having supported the legislation on behalf of his party. He also mentioned that the adaption of terminology, as in this case, is indeed a sign of growth, development and progress in the department. It is also characteristic of the growth in the department itself, a department which adapts itself and keeps abreast of the latest views on education, and I am also very grateful to be able to tell hon members today that there is a wonderful degree of co-operation between the various ministers of education and departments of education to bring about, as far as possible, a standardization of terminology, definitions and views, something which greatly facilitates communication and the exchange of ideas amongst the three departments.
I also thank the hon member for his good wishes in saying that he hope that all would go well with the department in future and that the fine things being done would bring out the maximum potential of the people for whom the education was intended.
I again wish to thank all hon members who took part in the debate for their contributions.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a Second Time.
Mr Chairman, some discussion on the effect of clause 13 has already taken place, and I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 7, after line 43, to insert:
- (2) The court having jurisdiction may condone the failure by anyone to comply with the time limits set out in subsection (1) if it is of the opinion that sound reasons exist for such failure.
- (3) A court which condones a failure referred to in subsection (2) may order that the notice referred to in subsection (l)(a) be served, or that legal proceedings be instituted, within the period and subject to the conditions which the court may in its discretion determine.
- (4) A court shall not take cognizance of a failure to comply with subsection (1) unless such failure is raised as a defence.
The hon members for Brits and Durban North as well as other hon members have referred to the period of six months and they gave the impression that the amendment aims at lengthening that period of six months during which notice has to be given. That is not the intention and I do not think that the proposed amendment does away with the aims which those hon members have indicated they would like to see fulfilled in this Bill. Those hon members will know that at the moment clause 13 lays down time-limits in three respects. Notice has to be given within six months and thereafter the Government or the department must have at least 30 days during which to consider that notice and then it lays down that within 12 months action has to be instituted.
The proposed amendments retains the period of six months, the period of 30 days and the period of 12 months. What it seeks to do, however, is to dampen the harsh effect which this type of prohibition can have on individuals who want to institute action. The amendment is not proposed merely because of a nicety. I say the legislation has a harsh effect as it stands at the moment not because that is only my opinion, but there are a number of court decisions where similar prohibitions had the result that the defendants had to come to court to explain their special circumstances, that action had to be instituted to get special condonation and that extra money had to be spent. This, however, does not take into account the many people who have not been able to see justice to be done because of these time limitations.
As the hon the Minister has indicated there are many other acts in existence in terms of which this type of prohibition exists as he proposes now. Those provisions in all the other acts have led to a considerable amount of criticism amongst lawyers, academics and people in the legal fraternity generally and to such an extent that the SA Law Commission has seen fit to initiate a special project to inquire into these limitations. In its Eleventh Annual Report, the one for 1983, reference is made to project 42 of the SA Law Commission “Investigation into time-limits for the institution of actions against the State”. The SA Law Commission has over a long period investigated these time limitations and it came out with provisional views after having taken into account those arguments which the hon the Minister has put forward, namely the interest of the department of State, which in a view are valid arguments. That is why I do not suggest that we do away with this period of six months. The SA Law Commission came to the provisional conclusion that only in those cases—the hon the Minister of Law and Order will perhaps be satisfied—where security and law and order are affected is it really justified to keep these fixed time limits.
The SA Law Commission drafted a report which is public and which it circulated. To that report it annexed a draft Bill in which provision is made for time limits for law and order and defence to remain but in which it is suggested that in about 12 to 15 existing other acts the time limits be dampened by this sort of provision which I in a way copied from the draft Bill by providing that the judge should have the power in a case where a person has not been able to comply with the time limits to decide whether or not there was just cause, whether there was insufficient reason for not complying with it. If the court then decides that there was not a justified reason for not complying, that time limit is then the end of the individual’s action, but if there was, the judge should have the power to condone such failure and the person should then be in the position to proceed with his action. This amendment introduces the objective judgment of the judge into the situation where he decides, where there is non-compliance, whether or not the individual does have reasons for not complying within the time limits. The amendment therefore does not suggest doing away with the time limits but merely provides for the possibility of injustice being done to individuals.
May I ask the hon member a question? Does he not differentiate between the institution of legal proceedings and giving notice? The provision here is purely to give notice, while the law report, if I remember correctly, dealt with the proceedings themselves.
I do not intend to differentiate between the two. Both as far as notice and the institution of action are concerned non-compliance should only be condoned if a judge says that the person had sufficient reason for not instituting proceedings in time or not giving notice in time.
The report which the Law Commission drew up after studying the restrictions in the various acts contains some interesting comments. On page 2 of the report the following is stated:
Then it found that special circumstances exist where security comes into the picture. On page 3 the commission says the following:
That is what the hon the Minister seeks to do with clause 13 as it stands now. He seeks to introduce an absolute exclusion of a plaintiffs claim if for some reason he has not managed to comply with those time limits. The Minister’s department deals with millions of Black schoolchildren and with thousands of teachers, many of whom live in remote areas away from access to legal advice and people who could explain the time limits to them. In that department specifically I think it would be an injustice to a possible defendant if there was not some sort of flexibility which is introduced through the judge deciding whether or not the claim was brought in timeously.
For these reasons I believe that the amendment would be an improvement. The report which the Law Commission has compiled and the draft Bill are not yet final products of the commission but are merely interim suggestions which are at present being circulated for comment. However, in drawing these conclusions various State departments, State law advisers and others have been consulted for their views. This is made quite clear in the report. I suggest that one is not doing any damage to the aim which the hon the Minister wants to achieve, namely some sort of period within which people must start their proceedings, but that one is making it fairer and more just for the people who may not be able to comply with this strict time limit.
Mr Chairman, I think it is a pity that the hon member chose this particular debate to initiate his crusade, if I may put it like that, to have this particular type of action on the part of the State altered. If his argument can be presented in a debate involving legal people and they can tear it to pieces and put it together again in such a way that it will be acceptable to the State, then certainly this department will follow suit. At this particular stage I should just like to say that this department works roughly in cycles of one year. Agreed, an action does not necessarily start at the beginning of a particular academic year but can start at any time in the course of the year.
If, according to the amendment of the hon member non-compliance can be condoned by a judge, it will not help this department one iota in addressing its basic problem, and that is to be able, within a short period of time after any action which may cause the institution of legal proceedings, to gather the necessary evidence and to make necessary people and material available.
Let me state what our simple aim is. With the kind of thing that can happen in our schools and our department, we believe that six months’ notice should obviously be sufficient. Certainly, once notice has been given, the matter can drag on for a long time. Even in the most remote areas a person with a legal grievance normally, according to our experience in the department, very soon has access to legal people. Personally I am not loathe to consider this type of amendment once it has gone through the mill of proper discussion and consideration on the part of the State, but at this moment in time my legal advice is that, if I were to accept the amendment exactly as suggested by the hon member, I could just as well withdraw the clause altogether. That is my legal advice. If I had been a better lawyer than those the State employs, I would have been able to argue with the legally-oriented hon member. At this stage, however, I am not prepared virtually to abolish this clause. I want to suggest to the hon member that we should accept the clause as it is now worded and that, if he should win his argument in a more legally-oriented debate, this department will certainly follow the line taken by the State.
We have our particular problems. As he correctly said, we have more than 40 000 teachers and we have millions of children going through our schools every year. From that point of view I think that he himself has identified the main problem. We must be given a reasonable period of time within which to produce the kind of evidence and material which is vital if any legal proceedings are to be properly conducted. I therefore do not see my way clear to accepting the amendment.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister has pointed out that his department has to deal with problems or circumstances peculiar to itself. We accept that. It is this area in particular which causes us concern and specifically the relationship between teachers and the department. In the debate in the relevant standing committee on 13 May 1983 I pointed out that the Auditor-General gave evidence to a select committee of Parliament and I then quoted from The Cape Times of 21 January, as follows:
That is amplified further on page 29 of the addendum to the first and second reports of the Select Committees on Public Accounts of 1982. The Minister at that time pointed out the improvements that had taken place and said that those were figures as at June 1981 and that since then there had been a big change and that those enormous backlogs had been eliminated.
However, I think the hon the Minister will agree that within his department, or any education department whether White, Coloured or Black, it has occurred with some frequency in the past decade that backlogs have developed on quite a considerable scale. What concerns us as regards this clause in particular, besides the more general legal aspects, is the following: If there is a situation, whether it is the department or the school principal’s fault, in which a teacher’s documentation has not been properly dealt with and where he has either not been paid or his leave application has not been properly processed so that his right to pay or leave appears to be in jeopardy, he has only six months in which to give notice to the department that he will take legal action against them. In actual fact he does not anticipate that he will do so because he expects the muddle to be sorted out and that he will be given his leave or pay, whatever the case may be. We are concerned that in these cases an injustice may well be done because a man or a woman has not exercised his or her right because of this provision.
Mr Chairman, I sincerely believe that the particular example which the hon member used is not applicable as far as this clause is concerned because if one takes into account one’s legal right to one’s salary or pension, it simply cannot lapse. That is certainly not subject to this type of provision. The kind of issue which is addressed in this clause is where a claim can ensue from, for instance excessive corporal punishment or damage of some kind, whether it be bodily harm or damage to the property of a person. This is certainly not the kind of claim to which the hon member referred.
I want to thank the hon member for reminding us that it was reported that even inl982 there had been some improvement as regards certain backlogs. We certainly have our problems from time to time and this is manifested in delay in the processing of certain documents from time to time. However, when it comes to legal action against the department, it certainly receives priority over all other matters. From the point of view of the department’s response to that kind of action, there should therefore not be any inordinate delay.
Secondly, if an individual with a grievance gives notice of his intention to institute legal proceedings against the department, even if the department’s response is delayed to a certain extent the individual who has properly and duly registered his intention certainly cannot be faulted and the grounds for his claim certainly cannot lapse as a result of non-compliance on the part of the department.
Therefore, from that point of view, I do not see any problem arising from the particular example which the hon member referred to. I would welcome it if the hon member would further respond to my remarks.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister has I think wrongly interpreted the clause by suggesting that only specific actions are covered by these limitations and not the type of action to which the hon member for Cape Town Gardens referred. That is not the position if one looks at the wording. It states very clearly that “no legal proceedings of whatever nature …”, including the one suggested by my hon colleague, “… shall be instituted … unless …”. Therefore any legal proceeding instituted against the department or one of its employees is covered by these time limitations. The example which my hon colleague for Cape Town Gardens mentioned is therefore a very pertinent one that falls within the ambit of these restrictions.
Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon member a question in regard to what he has just said. Is he saying that if, for instance, a staff member of the department fails to give notice within a period of six months of his intention to intstitute proceedings against the department for the non-payment of his salary, his rightful claim to his salary will lapse?
As I interpret the provision that is precisely what it means. It states clearly that no legal action whatsoever may be instituted unless he has given notice within six months. That is where the possible injustice can come in. That is also why the Law Commission is very concerned about the restrictions in all the other acts which it has looked into. That is why they are circulating a draft bill which does away with the harshness of these restrictions and why the right to condone the failure is being brought in.
The hon the Minister has suggested that if one were to accept this type of amendment one might as well do away with the entire clause 13, but I do not think one should go that far. The intention of the hon the Minister and the legislature is clearly laid down in this clause namely that there should be compliance with the six month period, and this will remain even if the amendment is accepted. The defendant will not get away with an excuse for non-compliance which is based on “I forgot” or “My uncle did not remind me”. What I am trying to suggest is that there have to be sound reasons before a judge will condone non-compliance.
The hon the Minister has made it quite clear that he is not going to accept my amendment, and I therefore do not think I should waste time carrying this debate any further. I do, however, hope that very soon, once the final report of the Law Commission becomes available, we will amend this section of the principal Act.
Mr Chairman, I want to debate the statement by the hon member for Durban Central in connection with the pensions and salaries of teachers. The proposed new section 42A, as inserted by clause 13, reads as follows:
- (1) No legal proceedings of whatever nature shall be instituted against the Minister, a governing body, a teacher or any person in the employment of the State…
Thereafter they are referred to as “the debtor”; in other words, a group of persons is being singled out as the one party in the proceedings as opposed to other persons who may be pupils. The pensions and salaries of the relevant officials or teachers are not protected in this legislation, but they are protected in the Public Service Act. They have a normal claim in connection with salaries and pensions, which has no bearing on this legislation. This clause deals solely with this legislation and not with the other laws mentioned in it. I think the argument of the hon member is quite irrelevant and is not applicable here.
Mr Chairman, one of the points which the hon member for Gezina and the hon the Minister appear to be missing is that one of the major problem areas is where a teacher changes schools or takes up a new appointment. A problem could arise through departmental delay or through an error on the part of a principal. A principal may, for example, appoint a teacher when he does not have the legal power to do so because his quota may be full, or whatever. The teacher concerned could then be employed for many months and not receive a salary. It could be due to the fact that the principal has not completed the forms properly. We are not necessarily talking of the case where there is already a legal contract between the department and an employee. It is often in a transition situation that the problems arise. The hon the Minister correctly says that the teacher concerned can give notice that he plans to sue but in general that is not his intention. He wants employment and he thinks he has been given employment and he expects that as soon as the muddle is sorted out, he will be paid. It is therefore not his intention to take legal action but to receive his money in due course. It is that sort of problem and other related problems that in my opinion will cause injustices if this clause goes through, because in a sense it is quite unequivocal to say that “no legal proceedings of whatever nature” shall be instituted in respect of anything done or omitted in pursuance of this Act.
Mr Chairman, I think there are two things that we should bear in mind in regard to the particular case referred to by the hon member. First of all, the person who unlawfully appointed him—even if it is an unlawful act—has acted as a delegate on behalf of the department if he had the power to appoint him. In such a case the particular individual should certainly be remunerated for services rendered. This is so not only according to the provisions of the Act to which may hon colleague referred but also in those cases where on the bottom line there is no legal power to condone it. In such an event the Government still makes an ex gratia payment. There is therefore no question of that particular individual forfeiting payment for services rendered. There are ways and means of remedying the situation. However, the points raised by the hon member are noteworthy. We will handle them administratively and certainly not seek to remedy the situation under this particular legislation.
Amendment 1 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to.
Bill read a Third Time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
Most of the amendments in this measure are self-explanatory and therefore I shall only refer to a few aspects of the measure.
The main objects of the Bill are to extend the powers of technikons, in particular by establishing greater financial independence, to change certain designations, to revise the constitution of the councils of technikons, to provide for the admission of students other than Black students, to make provision for the conducting of examinations and to effect certain textual improvements, some of which are of a purely consequential nature.
Up to and including the date on which the Technikons (Education and Training) Act, 1981, came into effect, the Mabopane East Technikon was controlled and administered as the only existing technikon under the control of the Department of Education and Training in terms of the Education and Training Act, 1979. The Technikons (Education and Training) Act, 1981, brought this dispensation to an end and provided in particular for the establishment, maintenance, management and control of technikons. Although a new statutory arrangement has come into effect with regard to the administration of technikons, very little change has taken place as far as the control and powers of technikons are concerned.
The stature of the technikon as a tertiary educational institution has now grown to such an extent that in view of the Government’s policy of endeavouring to provide comparable education to all population groups, provision is now also being made for greater managerial independence—also as far as legislation is concerned. This will bring the control of technikons under the control of the Department of Education and Training into line with that of the technikons for the other population groups.
With a view to efficient management, greater independence is being afforded through the principle of the devolution of management control which will allow greater justice to be done to the consideration of sensitivity to local needs. A committee has already been appointed by my predecessor to enquire into and make recommendations about the introduction of a financing formula for technikons.
†Mr Speaker, I want to refer now to several provisions in the Bill, which are aimed at granting a greater degree of autonomy to technikons and also at promoting more effective administration of technikons. Clause 2 provides for the correction of a mistake in the English text, and also for the department to appoint a secretary and other officers of the department to perform the secretarial functions of the co-ordinating council. Clause 3 provides that a technikon may enter into an agreement with a council or governing body of a college or educational institution in order to offer technikon courses.
Clause 4 extends the jurisdiction of technikons to receive money or any other property by way of donation or bequest without it being subject to the approval of the Minister. Clause 6 provides that the present large and cumbersome council of the technikon be reduced in size, and that the present position in which bodies and institutions may appoint people to the council be revised. What is needed here are not so much representatives of various bodies but individuals who have proved both their interest and expertise in technical training.
Furthermore it is essential that the rector should be able to designate any person in the service of the technikon, with the concurrence of the council, in his place in any committee. A further example of the extension of powers is the proposal in clause 9 that the council of the technikon should itself determine the staff establishment in accordance with guidelines approved by the Minister, and without exceeding the amount of the State subsidy and the tuition fees received from students. It is also desirable that, as in the case of the universities, the council of the technikon should appoint staff without the approval of the Minister.
The Bill also makes it possible for councils of technikons to determine the remuneration of the staff without the Minister’s approval, thus enabling the technikons to act more quickly when vacancies have to be filled. The intention is that overall control of the expenditure will be exercised by means of a new basis of subsidization. In order to facilitate and accelerate the introduction at short notice of special courses to meet the ever changing needs of the local public, industry and commerce, it is proposed in clause 14 that councils be empowered to establish, without the Minister’s approval, courses not subsidized by the State.
In clause 15 provision is made that the Minister may cause examinations to be conducted in respect of any course of study established in terms of section 17; ie educational courses. It is further proposed that the Minister of National Education may issue the diplomas and certificates of students who have written national examinations. The department will mark the examination papers and send the marked sheets to the Department of National Education.
It is also proposed in clause 12 that, as in the case of Black universities, the council of the technikon be allowed to grant permission that anyone other than a Black be permitted to study at the technikon, for example for courses which are not available at technikons established for the population group concerned. The conditions under which these people will be permitted to study will be laid down by the Minister. The designation of the present “board of studies” is being changed into “academic board”, to be in line with the other technikons.
*The other provisions contained in the Bill do not relate to principles and are mainly of a consequential nature. Since the rest of the Bill is self-explanatory I shall content myself with this and express the confidence that I can rely on the full support of all hon members of this House.
Mr Speaker, we in the official Opposition are in favour of this Bill, which seeks to bring the administration of Black technikons in line with the administration of those technikons administered by the Department of National Education. Several changes proposed in this Bill are similar to those enacted last year in respect of White technikons in terms of the Advanced Technical Education Amendment Act, 1983.
Certain specific clauses are only aimed at changing existing terminologies. A board of study, for example, will now be known as an academic board, while the director of a technikon will in future be known as a rector. We support these clauses. There is no reason why Black technikons should be structured differently from those for Whites. These changes should promote greater efficiency and co-ordination because other clauses in the Bill grant technikons permission to enter into agreements with other technical colleges or institutions, as well as allowing non-Blacks to attend these technikons.
In fact, Mr Speaker, these proposals clearly demonstrate that there is no reason to have separate technikons at all. [Interjections.]
In accordance with Standing Order No 22, the House adjourned at