House of Assembly: Vol2 - THURSDAY 8 MARCH 1962
First Order read: First Report of Select Committee on Railways and Harbours (on Unauthorized Expenditure) to be considered.
Report considered and adopted.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT then brought up a Bill to give effect to the resolution adopted by the House.
By direction of Mr. SPEAKER, the Railways and Harbours Unauthorized Expenditure Bill was read a first time.
Bill read a second time.
House in Committee:
Clauses, Schedule and Title of the Bill, put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Bill read a third time.
Second Order read: Third reading,—Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Amendment Bill.
We do not in any way object to this Bill, but we are rather disappointed that we were unable to persuade the hon. the Minister to accept one amendment which we felt would be of great value to the pharmacists. But quite apart from that, this Bill, as I pointed out at the second reading, brings in a completely new principle. It admits to the pharmaceutical profession of this country people who would in the ordinary way not comply with the law as laid down for pharmacists to practise in this country. I think it is largely guarded and surrounded by safeguards, but a close study of those safeguards shows that they are actually the ones which the Medical Council selected in order to protect the medical profession from a similar state of affairs, that is, the admission of foreign doctors to practise here when they do not comply with the requirements of the law as regards doctors. To my mind the cases are not parallel, and I do not think that the safeguards which are introduced in this Bill will altogether meet the case, and I think that danger should be pointed out. Not only are the circumstances different but there is also the fact that here you are dealing, in the case of the pharmacists and particularly in the case of the manufacturing pharmacists and the wholesale pharmacists, with a very rich and powerful industry, and this industry will bring pressure to bear that men who would otherwise be unable to qualify for the practice of pharmacy should be permitted to do so. Admittedly the Pharmacy Board will, I am sure, do the best they can, but the fact remains that from our experience in the Medical Council we know that great pressure is brought to bear, and it will take a great deal of obstinacy and care on the part of the Pharmacy Board to resist that pressure.
Another form of abuse which has arisen from this practice of making exceptions to cater for a small minority is that unsuitable immigrants, people who are refused admission by the immigration authorities, obtain posts from employers, from hospitals, from mission stations and places of that character; they then go to the Immigration Board and are able to say, “Here is obviously a letter from so and so mission station or from such and such a hospital asking us to come to this country because they are in great difficulties, and they can obtain exemption for us from the particular laws governing the admission of pharmacists on account of particular circumstances” under this particular clause and they are then accepted as immigrants and they enter the country. They are no sooner here than they give up their job. It is nobody’s duty to inform the immigration authorities that this particular man who came in under that cloak is no longer employed. We find therefore that laws of this nature are abused by people in order to obtain entrance into the country. These, Sir, are actual facts. In regard to the scientific firms, the wholesale manufacturing firms who are going to have their foreign pharmacists registered here, we in the Medical Council have found that the tendency particularly is two varieties. They pick a place where they say that they cannot get a South African to go and they pick a post for which they say no one else is suitable. They say, “This is a scientific or research case and there is no man in the country capable of occupying it; we must go to Paris or London or New York and collect this particular man”. That argument has been produced over and over again. But by forcing these firms and these institutions to advertise fully throughout the country in both languages, the Medical Council has found that there are extremely few posts— I would not say there are none—for which our own people are not fitted, and I trust that the Pharmaceutical Council will bear that in mind, that the Pharmacy Board will bear it in mind, and that they will see that our own people are suitably protected.
I hope that the hon. member is not under a misapprehension as to what this Bill is designed to achieve. The object of this Bill is simply to be able to make exceptions in the case of persons who come and work here in scientific and educational institutions. These are the two fields in which there is a shortage of manpower in South Africa to-day. The idea is not to admit them for employment in industry; on the contrary, that is one of the avenues of employment which is closed to them. They will only be able to come and work in educational and research institutions, and I think that the hon. member is unnecessarily perturbed if he thinks that they will be able to enter industry. The hon. member may rest assured that we are all just as concerned as he is to protect the South African chemist and druggist
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a third time.
Order of the Day No. III for to-day to stand over.
Fourth Order read: House to go into Committee on Standards Bill.
House in Committee:
On Clause 3,
I just want to put a question to the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs in connection with Clause 3 (c), because I recall that in the legislation of 1945 there were also two similarly worded clauses, both in the C.S.I.R. Act and in the S.A.B.S. Act. Was it not these clauses which gave rise to the overlapping and duplication which subsequently led to the terrific struggle between these two scientific organizations? I want to ask the hon. the Minister whether there is not a possibility under this legislation that we may again have a clash later on between these two organizations, as the relevant clauses now read.
These sections, which are similarly worded, are still in both Bills and, as I indicated yesterday, it is not the idea at this stage to introduce legislation to bring about a separation of functions between these two institutions. The Department is at the moment separating their activities as far as possible, and if it is necessary to do so I shall introduce further legislation next year in connection with the separation of functions. At the moment this matter is still engaging our attention.
Clause put and agreed to.
Remaining Clauses, Schedule and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Bill read a third time.
Fifth Order read: House to go into Committee
on Scientific Research Council Bill.
House in Committee:
On Clause 3,
Yesterday, in the course of his reply, I interrupted the hon. the Minister in regard to the question of the purely industrial aspect of research which is carried out by these bodies, and when I suggested that it seemed to me a little anomalous that such research as research in medical matters should be included with industrial research, he seemed to think that there was nothing unusual about it. Well, that research of a medical character should be tied down to be of some use to some particular industry seems to me a most extraordinary outlook, and as one who has followed the history of medicine and the history of medical research, I would like to say that most of the spout discoveries and research work in medicine have been the result of a search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge and not with any particular end in view. For instance, in the case of the discovery of germs by Pasteur, he was not searching for germs in human beings; he was attempting to cure disease in grapes. The discovery by Fleming that certain germs did not grow if there happened to be fungi about his laboratory was pure chance and was followed up by a search for the reason, and led to penicillin, in other words, a search of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Sir, while not opposing this clause at all, I would like the hon. the Minister to give a good deal of thought to this matter and to call into consultation with him the Minister of Health to see if perhaps medical research is situated in the right place when it is associated with purely industrial research.
As far as I know this medical research is carried on by the C.S.I.R. under the supervision of the medical profession. The C.S.I.R. is not very, very eager to go on with this research work …
I am very glad to hear it.
… but as far as I understand the position the medical profession wants the C.S.I.R. to carry on with this research. I can tell the hon. member that we are at present investigating the whole question of all types and all subjects of research with a view to coordinating research and to see where this or that particular type of research should be conducted, but at the present moment medical research falls under the C.S.I.R., but it is prepared to abandon that research. The medical profession, however, still wants research to be with the C.S.I.R. We are considering this whole matter.
May I just in passing suggest that the hon. the Minister in his research as to whether the medical profession is satisfied, should search amongst the universities rather than amongst the actual people who are guiding research at the present moment.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 4,
I do not want to occupy the time of the Committee very much, but one of the curious anomalies of this Bill is that it is introduced to separate the Standards Bureau from the Research Bureau because apparently some difficulties arose. I am sure that the hon. the Minister will appreciate that a great deal of thought could not have been given to the compilation of this Bill when in Clause 4 we find—
- (d) To provide and control facilities for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, gauges, and apparatus, the determination of their degree of accuracy and the issue of certificates in regard thereto.
Well, Sir, there is a most fruitful source of difficulty between the Standards Bureau and the Scientific Bureau when this clause, which is actually a clause of standardization, is introduced into this Bill. No wonder the hon. the Minister told us yesterday that he will be coming back next year to amend this Bill. Then we come to (f) in the same clause—
Here again we have a clause which obviously has no right to be in this Bill. Its place is in the Standards Bill and it should never have come to this House as it is.
As I explained yesterday already, we wanted to change these Acts as little as possible as at this stage. This legislation is purely of a consolidating nature. I explained that during the course of the year we would go into the specific functions of the S.A.B.S. and the C.S.I.R. and that we would proceed later on to separate their functions. I think I stated the position very clearly.
Clause put and agreed to.
Remaining Clauses, Schedule and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Bill read a third time.
Third Order read: House to resume in Committee on Group Areas Amendment Bill.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 7 March, when Clause 1 was standing over and Clause 22 was under consideration, upon which an amendment had been moved by Mr. Tucker.]
I wish to move this further amendment—
I sincerely hope that the hon. the Minister will be prepared to accept both these amendments. The first is an amendment which would delete the following words—
The omission of these words will remove from the Bill one of its most offensive features, namely that it sweeps across the present pattern of our law in regard to local authorities. I would like to remind the hon. the Minister that he said yesterday that these local authorities would be established in terms of the laws existing in the various provinces of the Republic, as placed on the Statute Book in the form of ordinances by the various Provincial Councils. I do submit to the hon. the Minister that it is in the highest interests of this country that the law of the land should be obeyed, and when in respect of the creation of local authorities there are provisions which have been placed on the Statute Book as the result of long experience, we should think very, very carefully before altering those provisions. In the Transvaal we have a comparatively modern law, but it is based upon a law which goes right back to the inception of Union in 1910. Sir, if the local authorities are to be established, as the hon. the Minister said yesterday, in terms of the laws now existing in the Republic, it is necessary that these words should be omitted, and I sincerely hope that the Minister will be prepared to accept this portion of the amendment.
The second portion of the amendment proposes to omit sub-section 5 of the proposed new sub-section 25bis. That provision is also one which is objectionable. It allows his Excellency the State President, which in this context we all accept means the Minister because it is done on his advice—
Sir, I do not believe that it is necessary that we should be static in this country, but what I do believe is of fundamental importance is that where there is a law on the Statute Book, it should be binding on all the citizens of this country, including the Minister and including the Government, until such time as it has been amended by due process of law. I believe that if we in the difficult circumstances of this country wish to see our way through to a brighter future, then above all there is one rule that we should obey and that is the rule of law, and it is because I feel that so strongly that I move these amendments.
I regret that I am unable to accept the second part of the amendment, viz. to omit sub-section (5), as the hon. member yesterday has already moved an amendment which is contingent upon this sub-section remaining part of this clause.
On a point of order, if anybody else moves the cancellation of sub-section (5), will you accept such an amendment?
Yes, then it will be in order.
May I rise on a point of order, Sir. I would like to consider the point which you have raised. Would it be possible for the matter to stand over for a few minutes? May I move that this clause stand over until the succeeding clause has been disposed of.
No, the hon. member can only move that the clause stand over until the end.
clause stand over.
This is a matter of very great importance and I should be very grateful if the committee would agree to this motion because it would enable me to go into the matter carefully.
On Clause 26,
I should like to put my point of view on this particular clause, especially in regard to sub-section (b), which has the effect to extend the penalties that apply for interfering with officers to another class of people appointed under the Act, and that is, as it is now amended in this clause “or any officer designated under the proviso to subsection (1) of Section 5, or under the said paragraph read with Section 7”. It means virtually that under the provisions of this Bill which is now before us, and especially this clause, any official delegated by the department in the course of conducting an investigation can enter upon premises or do whatever is required of him to carry out those duties. That is all right, he is acting under instructions of the department. But when it comes to the person into whose affairs he is inquiring, I think the position is different, because there you may find a man inquiring into a position where no notice possibly is necessary. The people concerned may not have had notice, and in cases like this where removals are concerned, tempers very often run high, and now the whole list of offences which can be made applicable in relation to the Board or any of the senior officers, can now be made to apply to offences against comparatively junior officers investigating on behalf of the department any subject referred to them by that department. I think this is an extension which is quite unwarranted, and quite unnecessary.
I just want to explain that this is a consequential and natural provision. Before the establishment of this Department certain powers vested in certain officials who had to institute investigations in respect of certain matters that were entrusted to them, and it is necessary for the smooth working of this measure that they should not be hampered or hindered. This provision is merely designed to enable these investigations to take place in an orderly and reasonable fashion. I think all of us would like those investigations to take place on a reasonable and orderly basis so that the provisions of this measure can be properly implemented.
The hon. Minister’s explanation seems reasonable enough, but one can’t look at this clause without having regard to the provision which was made in one of the earlier clauses, viz., that no notice need be given of the performance of any of the functions of the Board or its sub-committees, and I would like some elucidation on this point.
That has always been the case, unless the Minister so decides.
Yes, but I am talking about the question of notice being given so that the public knows whether an investigation is taking place. Now part of the investigation, I presume—I hope the hon. the Minister will guide me—would be that members of the Board would wish to make an inspection in loco examine premises, and so on, which they are entitled to do. Under the Act they are entitled at all reasonable times to have access to any of the premises in question. Now if they don’t know whether there is going to be an investigation of this sort, and whether the persons are going to come round to investigate their area, or their property, I must say that my reaction if I found a member of the Board or anyone else walking around my house, would be to chuck him out. In this regard, I would like the hon. the Minister to tell us whether the effect of not providing notice to the public that such an investigation is going to take place will affect this in any way?
That has nothing to do with it.
What then does he mean by “hindering or obstructing”? How does one hinder or obstruct a member of the Board, how does one hinder or obstruct an officer of the department who is carrying out an investigation under this Act? It is all very well for the hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman) saying here that this is very silly, but if he were a magistrate—God forbid, Sir —sitting in judgment on somebody who is charged with hindering a member of the Board or an officer of the department, exactly what would fall within the ambit of “hindering” and “obstructing”. How do you hinder a member of the Board? Do you hinder him if when he comes to your house, you say “Look, I am not interested in giving you any information; I don’t like your department, I don’t like what you are doing; you must get out, you must leave my property”. I suppose you do hinder him in such a case. If you are not co-operative with him, do you hinder him? And I should not imagine, Sir, that anyone on this side of the House at any rate would wish to be co-operative with people who are implementing the provisions of this Act.
I quite believe you.
Yes, I think if the hon. member was the property-owner and his property was being investigated and he found a lot of civil servants running around his house, he would also not be as co-operative as the Minister may expect him to be. That is the point. What does “hindering” mean? It is a very wide phrase and could mean anything at all. And the same with “obstructing”. It would mean exactly what the person responsible would like it to mean.
That is very petty.
That is not being petty. It is precisely the pettiness of this very legislation to which I object. Why is it necessary to extend this now to members of the department, officers of the department? Have there been any instances where they have been hindered or obstructed in the performance of their duty? It may well be necessary, I do not know. Perhaps the hon. the Minister can tell us why he brings forward this amendment. Who has been hindered or obstructed in the performance of his duty?
The hon. member must have had a very vivid imagination when he was a child. The investigations and the subjects for inspection are indicated in the Act. There are affected properties which are affected in a particular way; there are properties which the officials are deputed to investigate. They do not simply walk into any house in this country. They have more to do than to satisfy the hon. member’s flights of imagination. All the officials of this department are hard-working people. The point is simply that an inquiry can be held by the regional under-secretary, for example, into an application for a permit, and the inquiry which he holds, at which the person who is affected is heard, must surely take place in an orderly fashion. He must be able to keep in check any person who attends the inquiry and who is out to disrupt the proceedings, and there must be a sanction in that regard therefore. Or when an official goes to inspect an affected property which falls under the provisions of the Act, then surely he must have the right to enter. In other words, the instructions are contained in the Act. The hon. member wants to know whether people will now simply be able to come and bother you and whether officials will be able to roam about in one’s house. Let me give him the assurance that he is absolutely off the rails and that he is suffering from nightmares.
I think the term “dwaalspoor” is rather applicable in this case. The hon. the Minister can toss this up as he likes, but it does not alter the fact that part of their function is to enter any premises that they please, and if so and somebody comes into anyone’s house in the course of duty, to inspect somebody’s house, and somebody asks him what he is doing there, and he says “Oh, I am making an inspection of your house under the Group Areas Act ”, then I submit that the ordinary, natural reaction of anyone that I know would be to tell the man to get out of it and to throw him out of his house, and if he did not in fact throw him out, he might say “I don’t like you in my house”….
Are you now advising people to resist?
If he just suggested to him to get out, that would constitute “hindering” or “obstructing”. I am asking the hon. the Minister to tell us what those words mean. I will give him an example and perhaps he can tell us whether this would cover exactly that position. It is all very well if the person is a member of the Board. I cannot quarrel with that. That is not before this Committee.
What the hon. member refers to is not covered by this clause.
Sir, this clause extends to members of the service, to officers of the department the privilege which formerly only members of the Board had, viz. that if in the course of the performance of their duties, members of the Board are hindered or obstructed, then an offence is committed. Now it is proposed, in terms of sub-section (d) of Clause 26, to extend the offence in respect of officers of the department, so that they in the course of their duty under the Act, which includes, as the hon. Minister now admits, inspections, are covered by this clause. The owner of the property does not know who they are. Somebody comes along and says that he is an officer of the department, and he goes into the house. I want to ask the hon. the Minister to consider his reaction if he would find a man one day walking about his house at what is called a reasonable time, which is any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. I think the hon. Minister owes this House at least an explanation as to what it is that he has in mind when he now proposes that it shall be a criminal offence with a R200 fine and an alternative of imprisonment—and God knows the sort of person affected by this cannot afford R200 as a fine and therefore probably will have to go to gaol. It is not necessary apparently to give notice that you are going to make such an inspection, so long as you do it at what is called a suitable hour, any time of the day, not apparently at night. And you commit an offence if you obstruct or hinder such a person. The hon. the Minister has not given us an explanation which warrants the infliction of this sort of offence upon the ordinary individual who is affected by the Act. I want to stress that the individual who is affected by this clause, or any of the other clauses, so far as the Europeans are concerned, is a person who lives in such an area where there is an encroachment by the Coloureds or the Indians or whoever it is, and generally speaking they will be unable to afford to pay such a fine. To impose upon them the prospect of being fined and further penalized by this Act, because some stranger arrives at their house and they tell him to get out of it, as anyone else would do, is an unwarranted interference, unless the hon. the Minister can explain to us that in fact it is not unwarranted.
I can hardly understand what the hon. member is really after, because this clause extends the category of persons to whom these powers are granted, but it does not extend the essential nature of the offence which is created. The offence that is being created is to be found in sub-section (j) and that is to hinder or obstruct an official in the performance of his duties. The hon. member now argues about the meaning of “hinder” and “obstruct”. But that is not a matter which is relevant here at all. It is a matter which should have been discussed when the principal Act was passed. The principle as to the meaning of “hinder” or “obstruct” could have been settled then. The only amendment that is being made here is that we are adding another category of persons who can be obstructed or hindered, in other words, the person who is appointed under Section 5, that is to say, a person—
This is an official who is designated by the Minister to investigate that particular matter. And surely, if a stranger wants to roam about in the hon. member’s house, he has the right to say to him, “Where is your appointment from the Minister? Are you this person or are you not this person?” Surely it would not amount to hindering or obstructing him to ask for this information! I do not know how the hon. member can draw such an inference. And surely if the person concerned cannot produce his authority, then he cannot institute investigations either, and if he can produce this authority then surely he has the right to enter and then there can be no objection. Because, after all, sub-section (j) also relates to other persons, persons to whom the hon. member has no objection. The hon. member objects to one type of person only and that is an official of the department; he has no objection to other persons entering his House. His objection only applies to this person simply because he is a public servant appointed under this Act. There is really no substance in the hon. member’s objection to this clause.
The effect of this proposed amendment is to extend to officers who at present have not got that right, the right to inspect and to extend to those people the protection given by sub-section (j) of Section 42, that is the protection of a criminal prosecution in the event of there being a hindrance or obstruction to those people in the exercise of their duty.
Order! The hon. member cannot discuss that now.
Sir, the section which we are amending says …
The hon. member must confine himself to the clause now under discussion.
Sir, what is now proposed is to extend the protection given by sub-section (j) to certain other officers, and what I would like to say to the hon. the Minister is What is the necessity for extending that protection to an additional class of officers? You already have that protection in respect of the chairman of the Board, the Board members, certain committee members …
Do you want the chairman of the Board to do all the inspections?
The protection has already been extended to inspectors, so you have got adequate personnel from the top to the bottom to inspect the rich house and the poor house. What the hon. the Minister has not done is to tell us why it is necessary to extend this protection to an additional large class of officials.
What is that large class?
Is there considerably more inspection work to be done? Is it that the inspection that has already been done has not been done properly? Or is there another reason? The hon. the Minister is asking for this protection to be extended. He must at least justify or attempt to justify the extension of that protection, and that is the one thing that so far the hon. the Minister has not done. In asking this House to support the proposed amendment, he should indicate why it is necessary to extend this protection of criminal prosecutions to an additional class of inspectors.
I shall try once again to explain the position. The point is that certain investigations have to take place in respect of various matters about which the board has to decide, or in respect of matters, as I explained yesterday evening, which involve the granting of delegated powers to certain officials of the Department. We constantly hear the complaint from hon. members that we are going to act in a hard-handed way. But now that we want to take powers to have these matters investigated on the spot, they also complain. How is one to understand them? All that we are now doing is to provide that there shall be a Department and that certain officials who are designated for that purpose shall be added to the list of people who may not be obstructed in their duties. I dealt with that yesterday evening in connection with another clause, and I said it again a moment ago. The question as to whether they have been obstructed or hindered will not be determined by them. The official who is hindered does not find that person guilty and impose a fine on him; that is done by the court. Hon. members now come along and shield behind the words “obstruct” and “hinder”, but the point is that when an official is given work to do and he has to be designated for that purpose and there is a desire that there should be an inspection in loco, so that it will not simply be something on paper but so that a responsible officer can go there to examine the position, then surely he should not be hindered in that work. Because this is really in the interests of the person who is affected. All that is being done here, as a result of the fact that certain work will now be done by officials because the Group Areas Board and the Group Areas Development Board will no longer have staff at their disposal, which I have said dozens of times already, is to add these persons to the list. The person so designated may be the regional under-secretary, or it may be the controlling administrative officer, or it may be the deputy-secretary. That is all that we are adding here. For the rest nothing remains for me to explain.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 28,
May I move—
I do this because it is consequential to Clause 22, which already stands over.
On Clause 29,
I merely rise to raise a comparatively small point, the provision in paragraph (f), which extends the definition of “owner”, and I raise it because the definition of the word “owner” is now extended by this clause to cover a variety of circumstances, and the most serious of those is that the definition of “owner” now includes a mortgagee. One of the consequences of that, in view of an amendment which is still to come before this House, is in fact that where an owner wishes to sell a property and “owner” includes a mortgagee, the Group Areas Board must be given notice of that intention, which I concede is entirely proper, and the conditions of sale must be stated and the reserve price must be stated. But what about the mortgagee who has to protect himself in case there are no other buyers? There is the further fact, Sir, that the way in which we recover debt in this country is by a sale in execution by a magistrate’s court or by the Supreme Court. Here as a result of the various provisions dealing with the matter, the situation exists that, despite an order of the Supreme Court for a sale in execution on a judgment of the Supreme Court, the sale in execution may be completely ineffective because there has not been a permit issued. Now I want to say to the hon. the Minister that I know that in the past the Group Areas Board has been most co-operative in dealing with this very real problem, but, Sir, it would be very much better if it were possible for the hon. the Minister to devise a provision by which, when there is a sale in execution, the Board upon being advised of that fact immediately decides what it is prepared to do. In all fairness, particularly when the mortgagee is a commercial organization which, although in law may be White, in fact has no colour at all, it should have a right to buy in at that sale in execution. Then it is in a position to protect itself. I know that administratively this difficulty has been met fairly up to the present time, but I do submit to him that it would be most desirable to devise machinery which allows of a sale in execution, particularly where it is in the interest of the mortgagee, being something final, which it has always been under our Roman-Dutch system of law. And while I am not pressing for an amendment of the clause, because I realize that it is a tremendously difficult problem, I hope the hon. the Minister will be prepared to see to it that steps are taken in that respect. Will this not render nugatory a sale in execution on the judgment of the highest courts of our land or where it is within the jurisdiction of our magistrates’ courts which are entitled to equal respect, and in that interfere with the operations of the Board itself. Because where the property has been bought in by the mortgagee through the group areas machinery, it is quite simple to provide to whom that property may be sold. It is also quite simple to provide that the property must be resold because mortgagees do not like to keep properties. In case of need it could be taken over by the Board. But it is necessary, Sir, in the interests of a varied number of institutions and in the interests of private persons who all help the ship of State along by lending money, that they should be in the position that as of right they can protect themselves through the courts of the land. I hope the Minister will be prepared to tell us that he will go into this matter and help to devise machinery which will overcome a very real difficulty.
Mr. Chairman, I am informed that Section 18 (5) of the Group Areas Act already provides for that. It is not within the ambit of the Community Development Bill. Section 18 (5) reads—
A permit authorizing the acquisition of immovable property may also be issued to the person who disposes of the property or on application by the person in whose favour the property is mortgaged, and may in such a case authorize the acquisition of the property by any person who is a member of a group specified in the permit, or by a company wherein a controlling interest is held or deemed to be held by or on behalf or in the interest of any such person.
If the hon. member has any more difficulty I will be prepared to discuss it with him and see if we can devise anything.
The hon. the Minister is quite correct. It is provision for a permit. The difficulty is that there is no obligation on the Board to issue such a permit before a sale in execution takes place. But I am quite prepared to accept the Minister’s suggestion. It is a matter that can perhaps be dealt with more easily by administrative measures than by a provision in the Act.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 34,
The particular amendment which this clause envisages is that instead of the Development Board electing its own executive committee, that committee is to be appointed by the Minister. We should like to hear from the Minister why it is necessary to change this. It is quite a radical change in the sense that it is unusual for an executive committee which has the powers of the Board in terms of this clause, to be appointed by a body other than its own parent body. This is an unusual change and it ought to be justified. I hope the hon. the Minister will give us the reasons and the manner in which this is to be exercised.
As I see this matter, there are really two reasons. May I just say that this proposal has the approval of the Development Board. In the first place, I think it is unhealthy that the members of a board who have to work in such close co-operation should have to vote who the executive members are to be. But there is a second reason. As the Development Board existed in the past and as it will exist in the future, it will not be a board which will consist exclusively of full-time members. There are at present a number of full-time members on the Development Board who are occupied on a full-time basis in doing the Board’s work. I can tell hon. members that I am trying to constitute the Development Board in such a way that it will have on it a person who has a thorough knowledge of finance; secondly, a person who has a thorough knowledge of the sociological aspect, and, thirdly, a person who has a knowledge of local government or rather of the functions of local government, and, fourthly, a lawyer who is the Chairman at the moment. But as the Board was constituted in the past and as it will now be constituted, there will also be officials on the Board representing Government Departments. Let me just mention an example of what may happen; the Secretary for Housing will also serve on the Board and the Secretary for Bantu Administration will be a member of the Board. An executive committee now has to be appointed from the members of the Board, and the members of the executive committee must be people who give their entire attention to the functions of the Board. The only thing that the Minister will do then is that he will put the full-time members on the executive committee and the remaining members will only attend the meetings of the Board from time to time.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 35,
I think this is the most placid clause of this Bill. This is the clause which provides that the hon. the Minister can now appoint standing and ad hoc committees of the Group Areas Development Board, committees which can consist of members of the Board, civil servants, a mixture of both or even one man, one civil servant, to perform any of the functions of the Board which the hon. the Minister would like them to perform. I do not know why the Minister, when he checked over this Bill, did not just put his pen through it and said: “I think we might just as well delete the Board; I will appoint people to perform the functions which the Board normally performed.” It is most fantastic that the hon. the Minister can come along here and say that he wants to co-ordinate the administrative functions of this Board and the Group Areas Board and what he has done in effect is to have abolished the one Board in order to make this co-ordination possible. How can the Minister justify this? We should very much like to hear what the Minister has to say about this. How does he justify having the Board which in fact only operates if he, the Minister, wants it to operate. A Board of this sort performs its functions as a board. They consult with each other on the principle that four or five minds are better than one mind. They consult and make decisions in accordance with their experience, in accordance with knowledge gained through the exchange of ideas, ideas which boards normally exchange before coming to a decision. The Minister now wants to abolish this. He now wants to provide that the Board is in effect completely abolished in his discretion. How does the hon. the Minister justify that? The hon. the Minister shakes his head, Sir, but the White Paper is just as blatant as the clause. It says—
Before the word “specify” you find the words “in consultation with the Board”! One of these euphemisms, Sir, which one finds in many other Bills which are introduced by this Government: “After consultation with the
Board”! he may now specify what standing and ad hoc committees there are to be.
The hon. the Minister not only appoints these committees but when he does not like them, when he has finished with them, he dis-appoints them; he terminates their appointment. I do not know what reasons the Minister is going to give why he needs these powers. I will curtail any further comment on this amazing clause until the hon. the Minister has been good enough to give us some sort of explanation.
I want to deal with the latter portion of the same clause and carry the simile used by the hon. member who has just sat down further. Under sub-section (4) of Clause 35—
Not the Minister—
and he may specify the particular function that particular committee of one man can carry out. One of the functions that such a committee may carry out is clear from the following—
In an earlier section the Minister has already taken unto himself the authority of setting up these one-man committees with very wide powers. It is often said that the ideal committee is the committee consisting of two with one to form a quorum. The Minister has gone one better; he has a committee of one, and if he is not satisfied with that committee of one, he can appoint another one in its place. It seems as if this is reducing the position to a complete absurdity. In an earlier discussion on this Bill, the statement was made that this Bill was a “take-over” of the duties of the board. And this clause that we are dealing with now certainly does create the machinery for such a “take-over”. The papers have been full of “take-over” offers on the Stock Exchange lately and, like many of them, we would say that the terms offered here are not so attractive as to induce us to accept this “take-over In legislation such as this, one cannot get away from the fact that we are dealing with the lives of human beings, men and women. And, in dealing with anything as delicately balanced as that, we must be careful what we do. We are going to destroy machinery which has been set up by Parliament with safeguards applied by Parliament, safeguards by means of organized accepted bodies, such as boards which are appointed— even if there we feel that they go too far— but you still have that safeguard. We are now going to destroy that safeguard by usurping the powers of the board by appointing in its stead one man who is completely subservient to the Minister. The Minister can sack him; he can appoint another man in his place and, in the unlikely event of a committee consisting of more than one man as referred to in sub-section (3)—
I am prepared to read into that is a most unlikely thing to happen, but if it should happen—
such member to be the chairman thereof.
So there is nothing left to imagination, Sir. It is a complete “take-over” of the duties and the control of this particular piece of legislation by the Minister of the day. As I said earlier, Parliament should not legislate on the merits or demerits of a particular Minister. It is legislation which deals with the country as whole, and we should deal with the merits of the legislation not on the merits of the Minister who is temporarily administering that legislation.
Mr. Chairman, it still remains a truism that the spider gets his poison from the same tree from which the bee sucks its honey. This complaint against the terrible powers which the Minister is allegedly taking to appoint certain committees in a department entrusted to his administration sounds very strange coming from a party whose leader has the sole say in nominating candidates! [Interjections.] Let me give hon. members the reason why I want to appoint these committees in this way. This is being done at the request of the Development Board. The board came along to me and said that it was necessary to organize this board in such a way that there could be standing committees, and, inter alia, a finance committee, or committees dealing with certain other aspects of the board’s functions. It is the most natural thing in the world to constitute the board in such a way that it will not be necessary for the whole of the board to meet from day to day to deal with everything that crops up, but rather to have various standing committees which can give their attention to various matters. That is how this Parliament works; it has standing committees. But when the Group Areas Development Board has standing committees, then suddenly it is all wrong.
But a committee of one.
I am not dealing now with the hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell). One will never be able to put him right; he will continue to live in ignorance. There must be standing committees to promote the board’s functions, and I repeat that it is not on my initiative that we are bringing about this change in the legislation. It is being done at the request of the board itself. And that board from which the request emanated is not a board that was appointed by me; this recommendation comes from a board which is representative of quite a number of departments. This decision on the part of the board that it should have standing committees was prompted by the experience of the board. But in the second place, in (2) power is being given to the chairman to appoint ad hoc committees; that is to say, if the chairman feels, and the board is convinced, that a particular project should be tackled by an ad hoc committee—something which is of a temporary nature, but which can be disposed of expeditiously. In such cases the chairman has the right to appoint an ad hoc committee. The whole thing has been worked out in this way simply to improve the efficient functioning of the board and so as not to charge all the members of the board simultaneously with the responsibility for all its functions. We merely want to stipulate that in the Act. But now we are told that this represents a “takeover by the Minister” and I do not know what else. Well, if hon. members on the other side feel that is how they would like to interpret it, then they are welcome to that interpretation.
I want to refer to sub-section (1) of this proposed amending clause. If the Minister is correct—and I accept that he is—that this has been asked for by the members of the board, then I think it is high time that he appointed a new board, or a situation has been arrived at where the board cannot function without these powers being given to the Minister. No reasonable board would ask the Minister to set up machinery whereby its whole function would be abdicated in favour of a creature of the Minister’s, namely another appointed board, unless, as I say, it did not deserve the status of a board, or unless it has reached the stage where it could no longer function either because of the complexity of this Act or for some other human reasons or human factors. Let us look at the simple facts of the matter without getting hot around the collar. The Group Areas Development Board is wholly appointed by the Minister. Previously it elected its own executive committee. Now the Minister appoints that executive committee. Not content with that, this clause now gives the Minister the power to appoint a further committee of officers….
Do you know any of the members of the present board?
Let me finish please. The Minister now takes powers, Mr. Chairman, or wishes to take powers to appoint an ad hoc committee of officers of his Department to take over wholly, if need be, subject to his wish, the powers of two other appointed committees, the executive committee and the Group Areas Development Board. For heaven’s sake, let us drop this elaborate charade of committees. If the Minister wants all these powers himself, let him say so, and let us dispense with this playing around with words and committees—one appointed committee whose executive is again appointed by the Minister, and in place of all that elaborate scheme of things the Minister can now appoint yet a further committee consisting solely of civil servants to do exactly the job that the other two committees appointed by him have been doing. The thing is becoming absurd, Sir. It is this sort of thing, not what the Press says, that brings us into disrepute.
I rose mostly, because I did not think that the hon. the Minister was going to rise to give some sort of explanation to this Committee as to why he must have these powers. The hon. member for Zululand (Mr. Cadman) has raised a very pertinent point. I think the Minister ought to answer it. The only answer that he gave was an interjection. He asked the hon. member for Zululand whether he knew any members of the Board. It is unfortunate that the Minister’s attitude towards these things is always on a personal basis. It does not matter whether one knows any of the members of the Board.
What you are suggesting is that I am appointing people whom I can handle easily.
No, no …
I appoint people who are a credit to this organization.
Mr. Chairman, no one suggested that there was anything wrong with the individual members of the Board or with their integrity. But if the hon. the Minister is really sincere, that they really are these sort of people, why is he now taking away their powers? That is the point, Sir. This clause does not say that sub-committees may be appointed by the Board. If the Minister’s argument could hold any water he would say that the Board may appoint them. No, he says, he the Minister will appoint them. They may be members of the Board, they may be a mixture, it may be one single man chosen by the hon. the Minister, somebody who is a devoted faithful member of his Department.
Come to my office and I will show you how we work. It is quite clear to me that you have not got the slightest idea what is going on.
The Minister must not sink to the level of the personality. We are dealing here with a principle. It is not my function or the function of this House to deal with the administration. We are here to lay down the principle, to guide the members of the executive and the department who will administer the laws which we pass in this House. I do not think the Minister’s statement has got anything to do with our functions here. We are being asked to decide whether or not the Board, which the hon. the Minister praises—a Board which I do not doubt consists of a group of people with integrity and who are hard-working and efficient people— shall at the whim of the Minister be abolished. That is the principle on which we are being asked to decide. Whenever the Minister feels that the Board cannot do anything, he can appoint one man to perform that or any of the functions which the hon. the Minister wants them to perform. That is the point, Sir. There are very tricky, very thorny, very difficult problems which have to be decided by the Board. It may well be that they are questions upon which the Board itself may be divided. It may well be that they are questions with which the Board does not want to deal. And then the Minister can appoint an officer of his Department. This involves another principle, another very important principle which has been the subject of discussion under another clause and that is the principle that the members of the Board, for the very reasons which the Minister has advanced here, are independent of the whims of the hon. the Minister. Taking a very charitable view of officers of his Department I do not think that it is possible to say that they exercise an independent mind, completely independent, Sir, subconsciously albeit, of the fact that their promotion depends on what the departmental head thinks of them and what the Minister thinks of them. And they are the people who not only have to make the decision but thereafter also to implement it. I have never heard in any democratic system of a member of the civil service, of the executive, making what is in effect a judicial decision—it is in fact a quasi judicial decision because he has to apply his mind to the facts —and later administer that decision. This is in fact a breach of one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law. Where a man’s legal rights are to be decided they should not be decided by a member of the executive, a member who has to administer the decision which he himself has given. But here, Sir, the same person who gives the decision is to carry it into effect. That is a very bad principle, Mr. Chairman. It is a very bad principle because the man’s mind will be affected, in giving a decision upon the facts, in giving a quasi judicial decision, not sub-consciously but consciously, by the fact that he has to put it into effect. That is the point. He will not give a decision, an untroubled and untrammelled decision, a decision based on justice. He will give a decision which is based on the fact of whether or not he will be able effectively to carry it out.
What is your explanation of a quasi judicial decision?
A quasi judicial decision—I thought the hon. member for Ceres (Mr. Muller) would know this—if the hon. member really wants to know, I must refer him to my chapter on this subject in May’s on the constitution. I have not got time to deal with it now, but I will deal with it very briefly.
I want a practical example.
I will give the hon. member a practical example. I will give you a practical example of a quasi judicial decision, Sir An officer is asked to decide whether or not somebody’s permit should lapse. In order to determine that he has to look at certain evidence. It is not an administrative decision. It is a quasi judicial decision because he has to weigh up those facts and he has to give a decision on them. With an administrative decision he does not have to weigh up any facts; he merely has to carry out the directions that are given to him in any Statute. I think that in essence is the difference between a quasi judicial and an administrative decision.
The Development Board never handles permits.
The hon. member did not ask me for an example of a quasi judicial decision of the Development Board.
I asked you for a practical example as you use it.
The hon. member for Ceres might explain it because it is quite obvious that the hon. the Minister is not going to explain what is involved here.
Mr. Chairman, the hon. the Minister told us that the Board asked for ad hoc committees. I shall be very glad if the hon. the Minister will tell us whether in fact the Board asked for a Committee which was not in any way responsible to it, not in any way a sub-committee of it. I shall also be glad if he will tell us whether in fact the Board was unanimous in its approach to this particular question. I just want to make this further point. The hon. the Minister has given us an explanation as to the request of the Board for these committees. Well, we do not feel that explanation of his is satisfactory or that it goes far enough. I must say that it would have assisted us very much if, when this clause was reached, he had mentioned the explanation in advance; we would then have known where we were. Instead we have been left to ferret it out. However, I hope the Minister will now answer the questions I have put to him.
We must protest. The Minister, instead of giving an explanation, has just suggested that we are trifling with the House, when we are dealing with an important matter of principle. The Minister is trying to convince the House that a sub-committee of one is just as important as the Board. There have been several speeches dealing with this question. The Minister has only by interjection suggested that we are wasting time and I suggest that neither the Minister nor the interjecting member for Ceres have helped the Committee.
What you are saying is not correct. I explained fully but you were not here.
Sir, we are in Committee now and I have been here the whole time the clause was under discussion. I do not accept that I am not entitled to speak because I was not present during the second reading. I object to that interjection by the Minister and I hope he will do me the courtesy of acknowledging that during the Committee Stage we can discuss the details of the Bill.
I have given my explanation and I am not prepared to say anything more.
I hope the Minister will give his explanation by standing up and not by shouting across the floor of the House. It is high time the Minister realizes that he owes a courtesy to the House.
At the second reading I posed a couple of questions to the Minister and he gave us a long political speech but did not answer our questions.
Order! The hon. member must come back to the clause.
I hope very much that the questions now put will be answered by the Minister.
I should like to follow on the speech made by the hon. member for Pine-town (Mr. Hopewell). As I understood it, and I was here the whole time, the Minister gave two reasons for the introduction of this clause, firstly because the Board requested it and secondly because it was necessary to have ad hoc committees to investigate or to carry out the particular projects. That is as far as he went and it is fair to say, as did the hon. member for Pinetown, that is no explanation at all. I say that for this reason, that it is quite irresponsible for any Minister to give as an explanation for the establishment of some body the fact that the existing body wishes to abdicate its functions, because that is what it amounts to. All he has said is that the present Development Board no longer wishes to function, so he will create another body to do its work. We are entitled to know why the Development Board cannot deal with these things and why some other body must be appointed. So far as the explanation that an ad hoc committee is required to carry out a specific job is concerned, that, in itself, is no explanation for the powers being taken in this clause, because in that case it would have been sufficient for the Minister to have given to the Board the power to form a sub-committee itself in order to carry it out. But even accepting that argument, it is no explanation for the power being given to the Minister to create a body which can take over entirely the functions of the Development Board. There is no valid explanation before the Committee for the necessity for these powers and particularly there has been no explanation given for the assumption of such wide powers, even accepting the thing on the basis given by the Minister. The hon. member for Pinetown was perfectly correct in saying that we have not had a reasonable explanation and that we are entitled to it.
I certainly am not satisfied with the answer given by the Minister. The Minister gave us the example of certain ad hoc committees appointed by other bodies, as justification for what he is doing here, but there is no connection between the two. There are cases where ad hoc committees are rightly appointed to implement decisions already reached and involving no question of principle but merely to do the mechanical act of translating into action what a bigger committee has already decided. This is not such a case. This is a case where a one-man committee …
I will not appoint Dr. Moolman.
I am not interested in the Minister’s interruption. Every time the Minister interjects he reveals more completely his lack of knowledge of the effects of the amendments before the House. One would expect an interjection like that from a third-class schoolboy. It is not many years ago when we were called upon to pass a Bill establishing that Group Areas Development Board and we well remember the tremendous responsibility we were told the Board would have to shoulder in order to make the Group Areas Act work. That Board was going to be the answer to a prayer to get the Group Areas Act to work. Now we have been told after a few years of the Board doing all this work that it will now be replaced by one man appointed by the Minister and he need not even be a member of the Board. If the Minister is not prepared to give us full details of the real reasons behind this amendment, this House has no alternative but to accept as the real reason that the Group Areas Board, frustrated by the manner in which they have been handled, have handed over the job to the Minister and said: Appoint your own people to do the work we are having no more to do with it.
The hon. member for Simonstown is so confused that he talks about the Group Areas Board instead of the Development Board. Hon. members on the other side have been opposed to the establishment of the Group Areas Board and the Development Board ever since 1950. The Minister has stated perfectly clearly that this section is based on the experience gained over the past 12 years. In spite of the attitude of the United Party over the years, this board has had the opportunity of functioning for 12 years. [Interjections.] No, the Minister has stated very clearly that after 12 years the board itself has asked that these ad hoc committees be instituted so as to facilitate their work. There are other ways in which this could be done; normally the board would be able to do this itself, but as a result of the attitude of that party there would be court cases against any ad hoc committees appointed by the board, unless it is laid down by legislation that the board has authority to do so. That is why members on the other side are putting up this fight. Because this amendment can only have the effect of expediting the development of group areas. The Government’s object is to develop group areas more rapidly and members on the other side do not want that because in principle they are opposed to group areas. That is the position. They have had a perfectly acceptable explanation from the Minister and I do not think that there is anything further to be said on this clause.
I want to deal with the argument advanced by the hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden). He says it is necessary to have these powers because the Board requested it. If the Board requested that there should be ad hoc committees, why does not the Minister phrase this clause so so that the Board has the power to appoint these ad hoc committees? The Minister does not explain why it is necessary to do this and the answer is either that the Board wants to dissolve itself, or does not want to perform any of its functions but just wants to draw its salary, or it genuinely wants to delegate these powers to someone else.
Order! The principle was accepted at the second reading that the Minister should appoint the Board.
Then I want to ask the Minister what it is which will draw him to his feet to give us an answer to all our questions. I have a peppermint in my desk. Apparently nothing else will draw him out.
The hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell) wants to know what will bring the Minister to his feet, but he is responsible for the fact that the Minister is refusing to reply.
Order! The hon. member must come back to the clause.
The hon. member has asked why the Minister should have these powers, but is the Minister not in charge and is it not stated specifically in the clause that he will appoint these ad hoc committees after proper consultation with the board with regard to these matters and with regard to the ad hoc committees that he proposes to appoint? The Minister has said very definitely that he will not appoint these committees before he has properly consulted the board and then he will decide whether he is going to appoint a one-man committee or a bigger committee. It will depend on the work that has to be done. I cannot see therefore why hon. members opposite keep on talking about this clause.
Mr. Chairman, you have ruled that the principle that the Minister appoints a one-man committee has been accepted and I will not go into that, but I want to point to sub-sec (4), in which the Board itself is granted authority to appoint committees consisting of one or more members of the Board itself, or of officers of the Department, or both, to carry out such particular functions as the Board may specify. Is the Minister not prepared to reply to the question why it is necessary to take the authority away from the Board and vest it in a one-man committee? For what reason is it necessary to give the Board itself the power to appoint a committee, and was it not possible under this same sub-section that the Board of its own account could appoint any ad hoc committee that is required for dealing with the administration of their work without the Minister overriding them to the extent he has done in the earlier part of the amendment? It seems that there is a dual purpose in the amendment. In the one case the Board itself has the authority and in the other case the Minister takes a similar authority. We are being asked to pass legislation which quite frankly we do not like, legislation which usurps the powers of elected bodies, and hands them over to individuals. I want to ask the Minister, if there is a real and valid reason why the Board requires these powers, then what is that reason, and could not that same reason be extended to deal with the other portion of this section?
This is a clause which could possibly be capable of very great abuse. I do not think that where it is an investigation of a technical matter anyone would object to a committee of one being appointed, but right throughout this legislation and the various amending Acts the test which the Government itself has applied is that there is an independent Board which goes into these matters and it is a responsible Board and its decisions are subject to confirmation by the Minister or appeal to him. Here a new principle is being included in terms of which the decision on any matter whatsoever can be taken out of the hands of the Board and put into the hands of one person with the same powers as the Board. That is why this clause is objectionable. The Minister, if I may say so, would be well advised in view of all that has been said by him and his predecessors to find some means of meeting the objections which have been raised. We must remember that the Group Areas Board has tremendous powers. The Minister is vested with tremendous powers and I must say that in matters which affect the rights and the interest of individuals and of a group it is tremendously important that there should be the maximum safeguards possible. If the Minister requires this power in respect of minor administrative matters, that is one thing. But under this provision it is clear that he could allow a single member of the Board to exercise the whole of the functions of the Board in matters of great importance to large sections of the population. I hope the Minister will reconsider this question and withdraw the clause.
I should like the Minister to tell us why he needs the powers sought to be taken under sub-section (1) in addition to those in (4). The explanation the Minister has given is that the Board has requested the power to have a sub-committee to investigate a particular matter. Now he has given them that power. In sub-clause (4) he gives the Board the power to appoint a committee and one can understand that, but what we do not understand is why in addition to that he gives to himself the power in sub-sec. (1) to appoint an entirely different committee which can be a committee of one.
Order! That principle was agreed to at the second reading and the hon. member cannot discuss it again.
I will not challenge your ruling, Sir, but I would ask the Minister to compare the powers given in the two sub-sections and I would urge on him that it is quite reasonable that we should ask him for an explanation of the powers given in (1) bearing in mind that the powers given in (4) provide the complete answer to the information so far given.
I wonder whether the Minister would explain to the Committee whether or not he will allow these persons to exercise the functions which the Board may, with the approval of the Minister, in terms of Section 13 (1), delegate to local authorities. The Minister sets up ad hoc committees of the Board to deal with those functions of the Board that he thinks they should deal with. It seems to me that the Board could in respect of the matters where they would want to delegate powers in terms of Section 13—the Board would not be able to delegate the functions to local authorities because the Minister in terms of this clause can give to a one-man committee any of the functions of the Board.
Order! That argument has been used previously.
The point I am making is that the Minister in effect is taking away the power of delegation to local authorities, which I think is a very dangerous principle to introduce. I think the Minister, in just passing over this and saying that the Board has requested that these powers should be given to an ad hoc committee, has forgotten the powers the Board has, and which this one-man committee has to exercise. I wonder how many hon. members opposite have had a look at the powers which are to be delegated.
You are talking nonsense now.
It is all very well for the hon. member to say I am talking nonsense and I might be inclined to agree because I am quoting from this Bill. One of the powers is to acquire any immovable property in a group area or anywhere else. This is not just the ordinary power which the Board would normally exercise. It amounts to the power to buy property anywhere in South Africa. What justification can there possibly be to remove from the Board the decision to purchase property somewhere else? One of the other powers which this clause will delegate to a committee is the power to develop any property belonging to the Board and to provide amenities and services there. The very essence of the Board is that it deals with the various group areas and develops them and decides what areas they will develop, but it would appear from the reply of the Minister that the Development Board is too tired of doing these things and therefore they want to give these power to individual members. It will be very interesting to see whether the one-man committee will want to do something which the Board has agreed should be its policy, or not. The Minister has not explained these things. Another power is the power to let or hypothecate property belonging to the Board, or exchange it or donate it. So one man can now do all these things. He can even donate the property of the Board. When one reads these powers—and I am only just beginning to read them—it becomes obvious that the Minister intends that these powers should be in his hands because it deals with housing and that is what this clause is really about, to tie up the Group Areas Act with the housing schemes of the Minister, and the Board might not be aware of those housing schemes, but the Minister will be. My argument is strengthened by the fact that the powers which this Board has are to subdivide, lay out, plan and develop any land belonging to the Board. In other words, they can develop group areas. Now they are to do that, having in vew that the Minister wants to develop housing schemes, and the development of group areas is now going to be commensurate with the housing schemes that the Minister wants to develop. The Group Areas Board is unable to do that. It cannot take that into account as well, but the Minister wants one man to deal with all of it. The Board also has the power to construct roads, etc. This Board has the power to construct roads, streets, thoroughfares, bridges and things of that sort. Surely the Board itself should want to know what is being done in this regard because it is the Board’s function to lay out the whole group area, and I find it hard to believe that the Group Areas Board has decided that it wants to give up all these functions. Sir, if the hon. the Minister is going to be consistent about this he must tell us what powers he has in mind that will be exercised by this one-man ad hoc committee. You could have the situation, and you would indeed have the situation here, that if the Board was in fact going to carry on as an ordinary Board, if the hon. the Minister intended that they should carry on as an ordinary board, then you would find the situation that there would be individuals of his Department making decisions of the Board, different decisions in different places and different decisions in the same places, of which the Board would not be aware. [Time limit.]
The speeches on this particular clause have now reached such a stage that I feel that it is necessary to expose the misrepresentations which have been made here. The hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell) has made himself guilty of two serious misrepresentations in respect of this clause. I should like to put them to the hon. member, and I want to say that if an outsider had listened to the hon. member he would have received quite the wrong impression of what is actually contemplated in this clause. In the first instance the hon. member talked about a “one-man committee” time and again, and not only he but other hon. members on that side of the House emphasized “one-man committee” and tried to create the impression that this clause provided only for the appointment of one-man committees. But that is not the position. The clause specifically provides that the Minister may appoint one or more standing committees consisting of one or more members of the board. The hon. member wants to go even further with his misrepresentations. He keeps on talking about one-man committees; he does not tell us that the committee may consist of one member; he wants to create the impression that it will be one member only.
Read sub-section (3).
Throughout his speeches he has created the impression that it will be one member, but it is not contemplated that it must necessarily be one member; there may be two or three or more members.
Yes, it may also consist of one but not necessarily one.
Read sub-section (3).
I shall listen to the hon. member in a moment; let me first develop with my own argument. The second misrepresentation that he made—and I do not think he can dispute this—is that the duties of the board, as he read out the clause, must necessarily be transferred and delegated to that committee. That is not the position and, moreover, the hon. member knows that is not the position, but in spite of that he continues to make these misrepresentations. If he reads this clause further he will see that it provides that the committee will consist—
“Such of the functions of the board as he may, after consultation with the board, specify”; in other words, the Minister does not necessarily have to entrust to that committee all the functions of the board; it may be only a small portion of the functions of the board. The hon. member has spent a great deal of time in explaining to this Committee what the functions of the Development Board are. I can imagine that the hon. the Minister may decide to appoint a committee to develop and to expand the facilities in certain areas—that is one of the functions of the board for which provision is made—and when facilities have to be extended in a certain area, the condition attached to it is that a report must be submitted in that regard to the board. But the hon. member regards that as terribly wrong. Hon. members opposite are looking for hidden dangers in this clause. The hon. the Minister has explained that it is considered desirable and essential for the smooth functioning of the board to establish those committees, and I can quite appreciate the desirability of that course, and I want to make an appeal to hon. members not to go so far in their speeches as to misrepresent what is actually contained in this clause.
I too want to ask the hon. member over there please not to make misrepresentations. The hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell) stated very clearly that the committee could consist of one or more members. The hon. member for Ceres (Mr. Muller) will agree with me when I say that it is possible—I do not say that it will happen—that the Minister may in fact appoint quite a number of committees consisting of one member.
2233 8 MARCH 1962 2234
That is not the intention.
I do not say that is the intention; I say that it is the duty of this House when placing measures on the Statute Book to see that they are drafted in such a way that the law cannot be misused; that is the point. Hon. members on the other side will agree that it is possible to appoint committees consisting of one member and to entrust to those committees the powers of the board in connection with a specific matter or matters; that is perfectly clear.
Not all the powers.
Yes, all the powers. The committee may—
For the proper carrying out of such functions exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon the board in respect of the carrying out of such functions.
Precisely. In respect of those functions.
The hon. member went on to emphasize that this could only take place after consultation with the board. The hon. member as a lawyer will agree with me that I am right in saying that what it means is this It is necessary for the hon. the Minister to do it after consultation with the board, but the decision is that of the Minister alone. The Minister may reject the advice given to him by the Group Areas Board.
The hon. member for Durban (North), who feels very strongly about this matter, as I also do, is perfectly right and the hon. member is entirely wrong in saying here what he did. The hon. member for Durban (North) did not say that this could only be done by a committee consisting of one member; he said that the Minister had the right to appoint a committee consisting of one member and there the hon. member for Ceres must admit that he is right.
We can look at his Hansard to-morrow.
Yes, we can look at his Hansard to-morrow, but I sat here listening and it was perfectly clear that all the hon. member for Durban (North) said was that this clause could be misused because the powers entrusted to the board under the Group Areas Act and also under the other related Act are such that they should not be placed in the hands of one person. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that we have convinced the Government side as far as this matter is concerned, but the hon. the Minister is not anxious to change this clause. I hope that he will still come to realize that the attitude of this side of the House is the correct one. As far as the powers granted under an Act such as the Group Areas Act are concerned, I believe that no single person and not even the whole of the Cabinet should be given the power …
Order! That is an argument which the hon. member should have used in the second reading debate.
Pardon me, Mr. Chairman. I just want to say that in my opinion these powers should not be placed in the hands of one person, and I want to express the hope that the hon. the Minister, if this clause is agreed to, will only appoint committees consisting of one member in cases of minor importance.
It ill behoves the hon. member for Ceres (Mr. Muller) to complain about the interpretation placed on this clause by members on this side of the House. One has only to look at sub-section (3) to see a complete justification of what we have said. If a standing committee consists of more than one member, then the hon. the Minister appoints the chairman. The whole emphasis is on a standing committee consisting probably of one member. The law says “one member” but if for some reason it should be more than one member, then the hon. the Minister appoints the chairman of that body. The whole tone of this clause is set by subsection (3) and it is a complete justification of the attitude we have taken in this matter, and the objection to this clause is to be found not only in sub-clause (2) (a) which gives the Minister the power to terminate the appointment of any person who is a member of the standing committee, but he can terminate the appointment of his one-man committee at any time. If one looks at the section, of which this is an amendment, one finds that one-man committee has the power, amongst other things, apart from building drains and sewers, to enter into contracts with the Union Government, and it is difficult to conceive of a more undesirable situation than having a one-man committee with virtually life and death power in his hands, being able to enter into contracts with the Union Government. Sir, speakers from this side of the House have given ample opportunity to the hon. the Minister to give us an explanation; we have tried hard to get it, but it has not been forthcoming, and there is only one reasonable inference to be drawn from this and that is that this thing has become unworkable; that the only way whereby this vast overall plan of group areas can be put into operation is for the complete control of all these communities in every detail to be put into the hands of the Minister, and I hope if I am wrong in drawing that inference— and it is the only one that I can see—the Minister will get up and relieve himself of the agony under which he is presently suffering and give us the reason for this amendment.
I want to ask the hon. the Minister a new question. Sub-section (d) of the clause reads—
Where do you read that?
If the hon. member had taken the trouble to read the Act, he would have known where to find it. I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Ceres (Mr. Muller) who at least has made an attempt to understand what the Act says. The loud silence from the majority of the members on that side shows that they have no clue as to the provisions of this measure. Sir, if there is one thing that is necessary in implementing group areas and in doing the work of the Group Areas Development Board, it is continuity—continuity of contact on the part of the official with the particular phase that he is working with. I think that is one of the most important features in the Act. There are so many facets under the Act that where a man has become acquainted with a particular phase of its administration, it is important to preserve continuity as far as possible by keeping him on that section. Under this clause the Minister has the power to appoint a new committee. It is true that the amendment reads, “if any member of a standing committee is temporarily absent,” but when we read that we must remember that the standing committee may consist of one man, and therefore when the one man is absent, such member temporarily absent constitutes the committee. It may be that committee of one is now going to make its report to the board or to the Minister, or make a recommendation with regard to the matter that has been investigated. It is not until the inquiry has been completed and the meeting is to be held that it may be discovered that this particular committee or the one man constituting the committee is going to be absent. He may have fallen ill, he may have missed the train, he may have been run over by a bus, so he cannot be on the job and he is temporarily absent. He may have taken ill that morning and be unable to fulfil his duties, but he has to report to the Board on something that he has been investigating. At that stage in his absence the Minister has the power to appoint another man in his place to carry on the work of that committee. How on earth can you expect legislation to be implemented under that system. I want to ask the Minister this: In view of the necessity for continuity of experience, in view of the value of the man’s experience in dealing with a particular phase of the administration of this Act, how does an amendment like this make any sense at all, or does it merely reduce the whole implementation of this legislation to a farce and hand the whole control to the Minister himself?
Clause put and the Committee divided:
AYES—82: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Donges, T. E.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Frank, S.; Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Hiemstra, E. C. A.; Jurgens, J. C.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Pelser, P. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Wath, J. G. H.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Webster, A.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
NOES—40: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Durrant, R. B.; Emdin, S.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Hickman, T.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T. G.; le Roux, G. S. P.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
Clause accordingly agreed to.
On Clause 36,
With reference to the amendment of the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell) which I accepted in regard to another similar clause, I should now like to move the following amendment—
- (a) by the deletion in sub-section (1) of the words “or alternate member” and by the substitution for the words “one year” of the words “three years and shall be precluded thereafter from holding office under this Act or the Group Areas Act, 1957”; and
It is simply to bring the two clauses into line.
Clause, as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 38,
I rise immediately to mention an oversight which must be put right. It cannot be put right in this clause. The clause which was amended deals with audit; the change has been made and now we have reference to a “fund”. I merely mention the matter here, but I shall move subsequently that a new clause be inserted.
Clause put and agreed to.
On new clause to follow Clause 38.
Mr. Chairman, before you put the next clause, I would like to move—
That the following be a new clause to follow Clause 38:
This makes it clear that the fund will be audited by the Controller and Auditor-General, as was the case in respect of the Board when it controlled the fund.
New clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 39,
In sub-clause (d) it is now provided that ex gratia payments may be made to people who presumably have not had a square deal out of the award of compensation for their property. I want to say immediately that we welcome any sort of alleviation of this sort from the strict effect of the Act, but I want to ask the hon. the Minister why, when he was reviewing the whole Act, the whole system of group areas administration, he found it necessary to put in this clause and why he did not find some other means of rating of property whereby compensation pure and simple would be received, and a means whereby it would not be necessary to have to make ex gratia payments in the discretion of various people so that the owner of property would have a fair value. Sir, I do not know of one instance in my own area where the basic value, which was determined by the Group Areas Development Board’s valuation board has borne any relation to what the owner paid for it, in other words what its market value was before the Group Areas Act was passed and before it was implemented in these various areas. I want to ask the hon. the Minister whether he will consider whether in effect he should not have amended the other clauses which deal with the basic value of these various properties. I think the very existence of this clause does indicate that the hon. the Minister has felt it necessary to give a fair compensation to owners of property for the reason that they did not get it before, otherwise this clause would not be here. I hope the hon. the Minister will inform us whether or not he does propose any changes of this sort, whether he thinks that ex gratia payments are going to be general or whether it is only going to be in the very, very exceptional cases that ex gratia payments are going to be made.
I would like a further explanation in regard to paragraph (f). It reads—
In looking at the White Paper, I find the very crypt comment—
I think it would help us if the hon. the Minister could give an explanation as to the circumstances in which this power is desired. It is a most extraordinary power, because our law is perfectly clear: If land is developed, particularly if it is developed by agreement, the buildings which are erected attach to the land in terms of our common law; they become a portion of the land. State funds are used, but the land and the buildings will belong to the person who is the owner of the land. It seems extraordinary to have this provision here, but there is possibly some explanation.
The hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell) has a habit of saying the most hurtful things in a very funny manner. I do not mind his trying to hurt me, because he cannot, but when he says things which affect people outside this House, honourable people, he should be careful. He referred to the valuations. The fact is that the valuators appointed are people who are under oath to do their work properly. But the hon. member makes general statements without caring whether he insults all the people entrusted with this work throughout the country. If it pleases him to insult people on such a large scale, he may do so. But I think the hon. member is trying to be funny, and I think he should stop trying to be funny. The fact is that all the values determined under this law are determined by sworn valuators. They are decent people who work under oath. If these people do not behave themselves they can land in serious trouble. Their actions are tested in revision courts and elsewhere. The hon. member should be more careful about making such remarks. He now says that nobody is satisfied with the valuations. Of course, I have never heard of a man who does not want more for his property, particularly if the State has to pay. They are all inclined to want more. That is a natural phenomenon. But the fact is that valuations are made on a reasonable basis and there are revision courts which can review those valuations. This ex gratia payment has to do with quite exceptional cases which one finds under any law, and for which provision is made in other Acts also. I now want to quote an example to the hon. member, without mentioning the name of the person, from a report I received in regard to one of these people—
That is the reason why we take this power.
Now the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Mr. Tucker) asked me what our intention is in wanting to develop land which belongs to somebody else. The Development Board is there in the first place to develop areas which have been set aside, which have been proclaimed, in order to ensure that the development takes place. Housing is a task in connection with which the Housing Commission is now the agent of the Development Board in certain circumstances. But there may be other development work in regard to which the person can render a service to the community if his property is developed. I do not want to tie myself down to one specific example, but through developing his property he renders a great service to the community as a whole and after an agreement has been entered into with him and he has agreed to it, the Board can develop his property in order to render that service. The hon. member can imagine quite a few examples of this nature.
I think the hon. the Minister made a very unfair attack on the hon. member for Durban (North) (Mr. M. L. Mitchell) which I do not wish to allow to go unchallenged. The hon. member for Durban (North) said that people who received compensation under this Act were unhappy with the amount which they received and that in almost every case there was dissatisfaction, and he made an appeal rather to do away with the basic dissatisfaction beforehand instead of making ex gratia payments. Now the hon. the Minister will know that is not a reflection on the valuators or their sincerity in valuating. They value a property in the light of its value in an area proclaimed for instance as a Coloured group area.
As on the date before proclamation.
It is not for them to take into account all the other issues which come into the picture. I have had numerous cases …
The fact that an area is proclaimed as a Coloured area has nothing to do with their valuation.
The point is that it is not for the valuator to take into account the other cost and losses which accrue to a person who is bought out through the proclamation of a group area. Take for instance the registration fees on buying a new property, the moving of his whole home into a new house, with all the extra costs, often running into hundreds of pounds in furniture, curtains and all the rest. Every time that a person is moved in terms of this legislation, that person has to pay out anything up to £400 or £500, which no valuator can take into account, because that is not his job. Therefore the hon. member for Durban (North) was not attacking valuators or attacking their sincerity. He was attacking the hardships which are caused to people and he was pleading for alleviation; The hon. Minister will know of cases which I myself have taken up with him where he has tried to help people, but in every case, despite the help given, it has cost those people a great deal of money. In one case it cost the man his health and his livelihood. He ended up having a heart attack because he had a property which he could not sell, a business which he could not sell. Eventually it was sold without goodwill. Admittedly the valuation was satisfactory for the building, but when a man has built up a business during his life, it is not just the four walls that are being paid for, it is his livelihood, the building up of that business during his whole life. Those are the things which cause hardship and therefore I think it was unfair of the hon. the Minister to attack the hon. member for Durban (North) or to accuse the hon. member of attacking valuators, when all he was doing was to appeal to the hon. the Minister to alleviate the hardship done to people in terms of this legislation.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 42,
This is another one of those extraordinary clauses providing that certain areas in fact can be forced into an area of jurisdiction of a local authority. In 1959, the principal Act was amended and there was placed into it the section preceding the sub-section which is now proposed as 13ter, and this sub-section 13bis provided that the Board may, after consultation with a local authority, connect any drain, connect roads, make use of night-soil, and so on, and so on, and then it went on to say—
all sorts of things that a local authority had to do. The cost of any of those functions should not be higher than if the local authority had performed these things of its own accord. Now in respect of such an area where these powers have been used, it is now proposed in this clause that—
just in passing, what a wonderful euphemism this is that they delegate these powers and force them upon them—
Quite clearly under 13bis, put in 1959, the local authorities could be forced to do things which they did not want to do, forced to do things which were to them uneconomic, manifestly uneconomic. But that is not the point. That is now part of the law. But now the Minister asks that power now be given that these areas become part of the area of jurisdiction of a local authority, with all responsibilities and financial implications which this will involve. I wonder if the hon. the Minister will explain just why this is to be done. It may be something very innocuous, one does not know.
In my second reading speech I specifically dealt with this matter and the hon. member for Pretoria (East) (Dr. Otto) also dealt with it specifically in his speech. Now the hon. member asks the question again. We have said that the Pretoria Municipality has accepted delegated powers from the Group Areas Development Board and they have now tackled certain schemes for Coloureds, and the Coloureds are being settled at Eersterus, or Derdepoort. But now Eersterus does not fall under the jurisdiction of the City Council of Pretoria, and to get that area incorporated in the municipal area of Pretoria is a protracted process. In the meantime, however, the area has to be developed and the people are there. All we have to do now is to give the City Council of Pretoria the right to continue with its work.
This is again an example of the practice we are getting very used to now, namely, that to deal with a particular isolated incident that may occur in one part of the country, local government bodies throughout the country is then compelled to accept a pattern quite at variance with the accepted pattern of local government. The hon. the Minister just now explained the case in Pretoria where an area fell outside the area of the Pretoria Municipality, and as he rightly said, to incorporate that area would take up a certain amount of time. But the very reason for that “certain amount of time”, is in order that both the local authority concerned and the people in the affected area, and all those connected with it, should have the right and time to make their representations to a higher authority whether or not they consider that such transfer can be justified. It may be that a local authority wants to take over a particular area for reasons best suited to itself, and the area does not want it. We have an example of that in the Peninsula at the moment. The people in those affected areas have a right to lodge their objections and those objections should be dealt with by the Provincial Administration, which is the accepted channel, laid down in the Constitution, for dealing with this sort of thing. Each one of the phases for those objections has a statutory time enshrined by law in which to make representations. Now the Minister in this particular clause wants to short-circuit that statutory right in order to save time. I am not so sure that it is always wise to save time. In these things the longest way round is often the shortest way home in the long run. But it is to save time that the Minister is now, under this particular clause, taking powers whereby he can, as the clause reads “delegate or assign any such powers or functions to the local authority”, and if the State President, after consultation with the Administrator of the province concerned, so determines, he can by proclamation in the Gazette delegate such powers and functions to a local authority. There may be very good reasons why it is not wise for the local authority to be saddled with that particular responsibility. It may be completely beyond the capacity of the local authority to deal with this. And the consultation with the Administrator here is a very, very fragile safeguard to protect a local authority against that. Because it is only consultation, it does not refer to any agreement. The local authority does not come into the picture as far as the consultation is concerned. It is wished on to them willy-nilly. In many cases it could well be beyond the financial capacity …
Surely that has nothing to do with this clause.
Sir, it has certainly to do with this clause. The latter portion of the clause says—
Such area shall, if the State President, after consultation with the Administrator of the province concerned, so determines by proclamation in the Gazette, for the purposes of or in respect of any matter connected with the exercise of any power so delegated and the performance of any function or duty so assigned be regarded as forming part of the area of jurisdiction of such local authority.
It may well be that the power designated or delegated, the authority designed or delegated, or the duties delegated or designated, may be beyond the capacity of a local authority to carry out, beyond its physical capacity or its financial capacity. But the local authority has no say in the matter. “It’s yours, whether you Like it or not, get on with it!” Again I say, it is so much of the pattern we are getting used to where these powers are wished on to bodies without any consultation, without agreement that they are prepared to accept these responsibilities. There is no provision in this particular clause to safeguard that local authority which has these extra duties delegated to it. There is no protection in this clause to see that financially they are re-imbursed for the cost of this extra work. By virtue of the nature of the Act that we are administering, the piece of additional territory that is being incorporated in their area, usually imposes greater responsibilities if it is left to them. There is more capital expenditure needed for its development, there is more finance required, more technical assistance required than what, as far as the average local authority big and small to-day is concerned, can supply in their own areas. Yet we have a Bill which is going to be passed without consultation and which is going to pass on still greater responsibilities in respect of the type of area which must considerably add to the burden already carried by these councils. I don’t believe it is right. I do not believe the principle is right. There is a constitutional method provided by law, the constitutional method which for the last three-quarters of a century has functioned throughout South Africa and functioned well, the democratic method by which the people in both the area to be incorporated and in the area to take them over, have the right to express their views and their opinions before it is an accomplished fact. This does away with that democratic right. It provides again the rule of despotism as opposed to the rule of democracy.
All I want to say to the hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) is that this clause was submitted to the four Provincial Administrations individually and not one of them raised objection.
May I ask the hon. the Minister how long the local authorities had to consider the matter.
I am speaking of the provincial administrations.
Yes, but I am talking of the local authorities. They are the people who have to foot the bill, not the provincial authorities. The provincial authorities don’t pay the bill for the local authorities. They have the right to surcharge a local authority if they have not met their accounts. On the view that the one who pays the piper, calls the tune, the people who should call the tune here are the local authorities. It does not help at all if the hon. the Minister says that he has consulted the provincial administrations. One of the major local government provincial executive committees prefaced their reply to the hon. Minister’s committee dealing with the subject with the statement that they had insufficient time to give the matter proper consideration, and that the views expressed by individual members of that committee, were not necessarily the views of the committee because the executive as a whole had not the time to examine or consider it. So the hon. the Minister’s reply does not bear on this particular subject at all.
The hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) I think, has raised a point which I don’t think the hon. Minister will agree with. The hon. Minister has indicated that this is to meet the one situation in Pretoria, and it would seem that it might be required to meet situations in other areas. In the example the hon. Minister gave, the local authority requested the Group Areas Board for this transfer. Therefore, I move—
Is the hon. the Minister not going to reply to the amendment moved by the hon. member for Durban-North, because if not, he is making an admission here that this clause is not intended to achieve what he said was intended. He said that this clause was designed to meet a particular difficulty, or particular difficulties. He quoted one case to which we can take no exception. That being the case, we take the Minister at his word. The hon. Minister told the House quite sincerely that there were difficulties and this clause was designed to meet those difficulties. The hon. member for Durban-North has taken the Minister at his word, and has moved an amendment which does not prevent the Minister dealing with cases such as he outlined, and we asked the hon. the Minister now whether that then was not the reason for this clause. If he objects to the consent of the local authority being obtained, what remains of the hon. Minister’s argument? Because if he objects to that consent being first obtained, he is admitting that he foresees occasions in which he will force an authority to accept responsibility against its will, and that alters the whole complexion of the clause and the explanation. Either he wants this power, and he wants the power to be wide enough to force municipalities to accept expenditure which they themselves may not want to carry or be able to carry, or he genuinely requires this power for cases where in consultation and by agreement it is necessary to give them the extended area. We would like to know from the hon. the Minister which is the correct explanation in regard to this clause.
I am particularly concerned with this clause, because in his second reading speech, the hon. the Minister did not talk about the development of the area. He said that unless this clause went through, the local authority could not legally spend money in the area because it fell outside their jurisdiction. He was thinking in terms of money. I am inclined to think in terms of money in regard to this clause too. You see, Sir, the whole of this development of Coloured and Indian areas to which this Bill applies, is going to take place by positive housing schemes. In the second reading I think I made it quite clear to the Minister—he did not deny it any way in his reply—that these communities which he is going to develop under this Act, are going to be hard put to it to exist as economic communities. They are going to have great difficulty. When the Minister has developed under his positive housing programme, an area for Coloured or Indians who are facing economic difficulties, because of low-rating and the like, these areas can now be tagged on to a local authority and that local authority will have to bear the cost of what development has been done, I presume, and also to bear the cost of providing further and maintaining the services which that area needs. In other words, Sir, the Minister can take an area of land, he can develop it, knowing full well that it can never attain an economic standard or level and he can then toss it at the nearest local authority. He has the power under this clause to do that, and that local authority will then be left with the baby, as it were. It may be argued that there is nothing wrong with that because it provides for the Coloureds and Indians who would have been living in that local area anyway. But we had the case put by the hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross). He told the Minister of the scheme on the East Reef where they intend to consolidate the Coloured people from various Reef areas and tag them on to a town, Boksburg, I think it was. That means that the local authority of Boksburg, in terms of this clause, (the ratepayers of Boksburg), will have to meet the cost of establishing a local authority for the Coloured people of the whole of the East Reef, not only for their own people. I think that is an unfair burden to place upon the members of one community. This clause gives the Minister the power to do that, as I read it. Because when he introduced this, Sir, I repeat this, he was thinking in terms of money. If the Minister is sincere in saying that this clause is designed specifically to deal with the future location at Pretoria, I think the Minister can see nothing wrong with the amendment.
I have now again been given the assurance that this is the only reason why we want the clause in this case, and for that reason I am prepared to accept the amendment.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Clause, as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 45,
I only want to ask the hon. the Minister why the publication of the lists has been stopped. I cannot remember that the Minister dealt with the matter in the second reading debate and I should like to hear the reasons from him.
There is a procedure prescribed in the existing Act in regard to how affected property must be dealt with. One of the provisions was that the list of such properties should also be made available to the public for their information. My information is that unscrupulous people abused it. These people study the list and then go to ignorant people and mislead them in various ways or bring them under the wrong impression in regard to sales, etc. In fact, the Act provides that the peoDle who are really affected, or whose properties are placed on the list, are to be placed on the list according to a prescribed procedure and duly notified. It is therefore not necessary for these lists to be open for general inspection. When a person’s property is placed on the list a definite procedure has to be followed. For all affected property a list is compiled by the Development Board. Affected properties are properties which are disqualified, in terms of what we propose here later, only in terms of ownership and not occupation. The moment the property is placed on the affected property list, there is a procedure in terms of which it is brought to the person’s attention that his property has now been put on the list and that he can lodge objection to it, that the property should be subjected to proper valuation, etc. All that is proposed here is that the general public should no longer have access to it, because certain people misused it in order to bring such owners of affected property under a false impression. They come along with all kinds of offers, etc. As I say, these people are properly notified as to what is happening by other means.
I can understand that there are in fact such persons. I can see what may perhaps happen, but as far as I know this list is the only notice to the public as a whole at that stage. The person whose property is affected is perhaps not the only person who is interested in the matter. There is, e.g., a mortgage registered against the property, and then the bondholder is also interested. Will notice be given to such persons?
Anyone who has registered rights?
I have gone into it specially and my information is that this does in fact happen.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 47,
I want to raise a small point and I shall be glad if the hon. the Minister will give the Committee an explanation of his reason for inserting this in the Act. As I understand Clause 47 (c) which inserts (3) ter in Section 18, the effect will be to permit the State to enjoy a protection which is not available to the ordinary citizen. It seems to me to give the State a right to reduce the value of a property where it appears that there was some fact to which was not drawn attention at the time. I understand quite well that if it were overlooked by mistake and not drawn to the attention of the State, that it should be entitled to remedy the position. Normally, of course, that would be done by way of ordinary legal channels. I just wondered whether the hon. the Minister would explain the particular difficulty which has led him to follow a short-cut which I undoubtedly think places the State in an advantageous position.
This is a technical matter. My information is that the Development Board is of opinion that where a valuator during the determination of the basic value perhaps was not aware of any bond on the property, and it comes to his notice later, it is only fair that there should be a re-determination of the basic value. That is the only reason given to me.
The effect of the proposed amendment in terms of sub-section (b) appears to be that if as a consequence of re-zoning, re-zoning as (a) says “under any law relating to town planinnig”, the value of a property has been decreased then the basic value can be redetermined. I think that is what it amounts to in effect. It can be redetermined so that it will be lower.
I can give the hon. member an example.
I will sit down if the hon. the Minister could give us an example.
It happened in a certain city—I do not want to mention the place— that a certain area was determined on as a Coloured area, and a certain business building belonging to a White man fell in it. In terms of the provisions of the Act and the instructions regarding assessing the value, the value was determined according to the ordinary procedure. But thereafter re-zoning was done by the City Council. Then that area was rezoned only as a residential area, and the business premises consequently fell in a residential area and it is disqualified in a residential area. We tried everything possible to help the man. I personally spoke to the Administrator of the Province; I approached the city council concerned, and we did everything in our power to assist this man so that he would not suffer great loss. The man had a bond on the place and eventually we could not keep him on a string any longer and we were compelled to issue a permit to a disqualified person who was to take over the place and who saw an opportunity to carry on with the business. That was done to assist the man to cover his bond. Now, I think that is unfair. What we are doing here now is in such a case, after re-zoning, to obtain a new valuation, taking into consideration the new circumstances. Only that can meet the position.
Clause put and agreed to.
On Clause 49,
Clause 49 is a clause of very substantial importance. Part of the difficulties that I had with it have been resolved as the result of the discussion on an earlier clause and information given to me by the hon. the Minister’s officials. Sir, this is a very radical alteration of the existing law once again. There was first of all the difficulty of sale. I think it is quite clear that the Board should be given notice and I think due provision is made for a permit in appropriate cases. In the first place, Sir, I shall be very glad if the hon. the Minister will give us some information of the type of condition onerous to the owner contained in such agreement as is referred to in sub-section (a), that is the proposed new (c) of sub-section (1). In addition to this the White Paper refers to sub-section (c) of this clause. It says this—
I shall be very glad, Sir, if the Minister will explain that provision. This is a clause of a purely technical nature. One would like to be sure that it is correct.
Seeing that this is a technical matter, I shall stick to what I have in writing about it. The existing sub-section (1) is being replaced by a new section, in terms of which provision is now made that the Board must be notified of the proposed alienation of an affected property, whether such property is sold by private treaty or by public auction. The seller must of course give effect to certain essential requirements such as, e.g., giving notice of the sale and submitting a copy of the deed of sale, etc., as mentioned in the section. That enables the Board to decide in regard to his right to sell and it will also eliminate the malpractices experienced in regard to sales in execution. The point is simply that we are now ensuring that he must give notice of it, otherwise it may be that the Board does not know about it. Now, in regard to (c), in the proposed (1) it is now provided that the Board will have the right to sell even in respect of sales in execution, which are always done by public auction. Special provision for such cases, such as are contained in the existing sub-section (4), is therefore unnecessary.
Clause put and agreed to.
The Committee reverted to Clauses 1, 22 and 28 standing over.
Clause 1 put.
The original intention was that it should stand over until Clauses 22 and 28 had been disposed of.
On Clause 22,
At an earlier stage, Sir, you drew my attention to the fact that I had already moved an amendment to sub-section (5) which I now want to omit. I did not fully appreciate the point at the time, Sir, but I accept your ruling. It is quite clear that it is not competent for me to move the further proposed amendment which I wished to do.
I would like to move—
In doing so I would like to move it for exactly the same reasons that have been given before, namely that if we are going to agree and accept and subscribe to a system of law we must apply it in this Act as anywhere else.
I intend to deal with another aspect of this clause, but before doing so I would like to support the amendment moved by the hon. member for Umlazi (Mr. Lewis). This clause, which the hon. member moved should be omitted, is in fact a clause which should never have appeared in the Bill. It is giving power to the State President by proclamation in the Gazette at any time to repeal, alter, amend or modify any law “… relating to or in connection with the requirements to be complied with in order to become a member of any local authority …” Mr. Chairman, this is something quite new in Acts of Parliament; it is something quite new in any law that has been brought forward after or since we established a Parliament or a municipality …
Or a Republic.
… or a Republic. If the President of the Republic wishes to repeal any law that exists …
Not “any law”.
It says “to repeal any law in connection with the requirements to be complied with in order to become a member of any local authority etc.”. It says specifically in respect of a local authority to be established in terms of sub-section (3). Since when has it been the function of the State President to make laws in regard to who should become a member of a local authority? Even if it is established under sub-section (3)? Surely, Sir, the people who make the law ought to define the qualifications of who should become a member of a local authority, whether it is established in terms of sub-section (3) or not. Surely the body who makes the laws and the body who should define the qualifications of members, should be the provincial authority. The Minister has not given us any detailed explanation as to why the President of the Republic should make a law and say who should qualify for this particular type of local authority
Could the Governor-General not do that during his time?
The question as to who should become a member of a local authority has, as far as I know—I speak subject to correction—rested with the provincial authority. I do not know what the position is in South West Africa.
Your memory is very short.
I am prepared to be convinced by the hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke). If he will get up and tell me where the Governor-General during his time or the President now has interfered with the qualifications of a member of a local authority, I am prepared to be convinced. I shall be only too happy to know. The hon. member for Moorreesburg (Mr. van Staden) said-“ Maar die Administrates word geraadpleeg.” If he is good enough to be the head of the province, if he is good enough to introduce ordinances in respect of all his powers, why is he not good enough to introduce an ordinance as to who should be a member of the special local authority? Why is he so weak in respect of other laws?
Surely you know better.
I am not going to tell you all I know yet. I am not going to shoot off all my bullets at once. I think I have now helped the hon. the Minister sufficiently for him to tell us. Get up, Mr. Minister, and talk for a change. Tell us why you want the State President to come into this? I do not think the State President is at all interested in this. I do not know why the hon. the Minister should place this onus on him. I think the Minister owes this House a duty to tell us why he is prepared to override the real authority who makes the laws in relation to qualifications in this particular case.
The hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) made a statement in this Committee last night to which I should like to revert. He stated, when this clause was discussed, that the Coloureds were quite satisfied with their existing position and that the Government was now depriving them of rights. The hon. member for South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell)—I am sorry he is not here now—also foresaw many problems in regard to the application of this clause, because the hon. the Minister consults the Administrator but not the local authority. But, Mr. Chairman, the fact is, and the hon. member for South Coast who was an Administrator should know it, that if the Minister consults him it is his duty as the Administrator to consult the local authorities. The greatest problem I see in regard to the implementation of this clause is the fact that there is no uniformity in the four provinces in regard to the franchise. Now I am convinced that in three of the provinces there will be no trouble in applying this, because I am convinced that three of the provinces will agree with the Government’s policy. There will be one problem only, and that is in Natal. Now I would have liked to ask the hon. member for South Coast, if he had been here—but hon. members can convey it to him—whether he does not think it is his duty as a member of this House, and as the leader of that province, to give guidance to that province to accept this solution to their problem in regard to the Indians who have no franchise. I think that unless he gives them that advice, his province will anticipate him, because I think they will accept it.
I now want to come to the hon. member for Peninsula. I stated in my second reading speech that the City Council of Cape Town manipulates the Coloured vote. I now want to sketch, in terms of this clause, the background of what happened in the past and is still happening in regard to the Coloured vote and the rights which the hon. member for Peninsula is now pleading should be retained. The Mayor of Cape Town also played a role in this matter. He issued a statement. He said that it was not true when I alleged that the Coloureds in Cape Town occupying municipal houses do not have the vote. I just want to say that the Mayor of Cape Town was also a member of the Provincial Council in 1951, when Ordinance No. 19 of 1951 was amended, and he is still a member of the Provincial Council, and now in terms of this clause he is being given the opportunity of restoring the right of which he deprived the Coloureds for all these years.
On a point of order, is the hon. member entitled to say that the Mayor was responsible for depriving the Coloureds of the franchise?
That is not a point of order.
It is not true.
I am sketching the position which arose, in terms of this clause. In 1951 there were eight members of the City Council in the Provincial Council. A certain Mr. Berman was at that time the member for Castle. He said that the fact that rentals were being changed from a monthly to a weekly basis need cause us no concern —he said that to me personally—because it would not be made applicable to Whites, but only to Coloureds. [Interjections.] Now I have the facts here. In Cape Town the municipality built 5,462 sub-economic houses for Coloureds and 5,740 economic houses, a total of 11,202. They are rented on a weekly basis, all those municipal houses, and not a single Coloured living in those houses has the municipal franchise. But do you know, Sir, what is the greatest scandal and the greatest fraud of all in regard to this matter? [Interjections.] The hon. member who is now seeking help from Above will have to invoke further assistance. The hon. member for Karoo (Mr. G. S. P. le Roux) was also a member of the Provincial Council in 1951 when this injustice was committed.
And where were you?
Yes, I was there, but as a member of the minority party. The United Party was in power.
Order! The hon. member for Karoo must give the hon. member an opportunity to make his speech.
The greatest scandal in connection with this matter is that the majority, or a large number of these 11,000 Coloureds received their salaries and wages monthly and also paid the rent monthly, and it is deducted from their salaries monthly, but nevertheless their rents remain on a weekly basis in order to withhold the franchise from them. These are now the advocates of the Coloureds, the people who refuse to accept the new situation which Clause 22 creates for the Coloureds. They are the people who say that the Coloured is satisfied with this fraudulent position. The hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Timoney) was also at that time a member of the Provincial Council and of the City Council. The hon. member for Sea Point (Mr. J. A. L. Basson) was also a member of the Provincial Council then.
On a point of order, I was never a member of the City Council.
I accept that, but the hon. member was a member of the Provincial Council in 1951.
I want to go further. The same Mr. Berman who represented Castle and wants us to retain the position as it is, and who refuses to accept this new situation—the Cape Town City Council at that time and throughout the years could never entertain the provincial councillors because they did not know what to do in regard to the Coloured councillors. Do you know how they did it? One night they invited us to a barbecue, but they did it through the chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr. Berman, so that the Coloureds need not be invited. But then the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) is given headlines in the Cape Times and in the English Press because he gets up in this House and says that the Coloureds do not want this new situation created by Clause 22.
Order! The hon. member may not quote the Press.
I am not quoting it; I am simply referring to it. The hon. member for Boland (Mr. Barnett) said it was untrue when I made that statement. I now say that the statement made here last night by the hon. member for Peninsula—he is a Coloured Representative and I suppose he tried to do it on behalf of the Coloureds—is wrong. The Coloureds are not satisfied with this position, because no man in the world, however much one might despise him, can be satisfied with a position like this, where 11,000 people are deliberately kept off the Voters’ Roll of the Municipality of Cape Town. [Time limit.]
After that speech I feel sure the Minister will share my sentiments when I say God help me from my friends.
Very interesting, and true.
It may be interesting as a fiction and a fairy tale, but nothing is further removed from the truth. When that hon. member attempts to equate the fact that the rent of sub-economic housing is fixed on a weekly basis in order to control the voting rights of these people, he is stating something which is completely untrue.
But that is the effect.
I am not talking of the effects, but the facts. The reason why the rents were made weekly is because these people were paid weekly. [Laughter.] Oh, don’t grin at it! I had experience of it. The only reason was to enable these people to meet their rent commitments, and it was largely done at the request of these people themselves. So the attempt to mislead the House in the manner that has been done this afternoon, to equate the franchise with the rents, is completely unwarranted.
On a point of order, can the hon. member say that an hon. member attempted to mislead the House?
What did the hon. member say?
I say it is an attempt to mislead the House to equate the weekly rents with the franchise.
“An attempt to mislead the House” is an accusation that the hon. member misled the House deliberately, and I submit that it is quite unparliamentary and that the hon. member must apologize.
The hon. member may continue.
I want to support the amendment for the deletion of this clause, for this reason. The Minister and others have given us reasons why it is necessary for the State President to have these powers to institute what will really be a system of dual qualifications for the position of municipal councillors. One has to accept the fact that if and when the body is constituted as a municipality, as a local authority, the members of that council, whether they are nominated by the Minister or elected, will be municipal councillors. The qualification for a municipal councillor has up to now, as far as the Cape Province is concerned, been entirely the prerogative of the Provincial Administration and is the same for all voters. It is equated with the property ownership and occupation of property and other things, and the authority having the right to alter or amend those qualifications, which is usually done only at the request of the combined municipalities through their Association, is the Provincial Administration. If this clause remains in the Bill, it provides another authority, the State President, who can set up a new set of qualifications. In other words, what it amounts to is the setting up of first-class and second-class municipal systems throughout the Province, and I do not believe that is justified. We have a system which has worked well and in which men who are serving on a council, despite all the criticism of my hon. friends opposite, have served with distinction on the municipal councils as at present constituted, boards where they can sit side by side with Whites and take part in the deliberations, being elected under the same franchise as the Whites. That is the thing which, despite the hon. member for Malmesbury’s eloquence about the fact that the Coloured people are not opposed to this new proposal, they resent losing. They resent losing a right which embodies also losing their self-respect.
A right which means nothing.
I am not interested in the hon. member’s judgment and I place no value on it. I have dealt with Coloured councillors who are amongst some of the best people you can deal with in this country, men whose word you can accept, men who have sense and who know the needs of their own people. They are aghast at this attempt to take away their rights. Apparently the hon. member for Malmesbury and I come into contact with different types of Coloured persons. The people I come into contact with have served this country well and their names have gone down in history as good citizens and good servants of South Africa. They object to the diminution of rights which they have enjoyed, and that is what this Bill does. There is nothing the hon. member can say to convince me that my view is not correct. I would ask him to try to make contact with that type of Coloured man and see what he has to say about this type of legislation and the views expressed by people like him.
I want to say immediately that I am not prepared to accept the amendments, except the one which I indicated last night already I would accept, which makes it possible to table proclamations within a certain time. That is the one in sub-sec. (5). The rest I am not prepared to accept.
In regard to Section 25bis, that is intended in the first place to prevent disqualified persons becoming members of the council concerned. If an area has been set aside for Indians or Coloureds, it is our policy that they shall not be represented by other people. Secondly, the qualifications prescribed by the provincial ordinances are so diversified that this provision is essential. Thirdly, the provision is limited to local authorities in non-White group areas. I just wanted to make these three points.
I really got up to comply with the request made by the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell), because really this clause has already been discussed over and over again. It was the subject of the second reading debate, and the clause was again discussed ad nauseum last night. The hon. member for South Coast quite justifiably asked me to say what I envisaged in regard to these provisions, and I have pleasure in doing so. Just before dealing with that, I just want to tell the hon. member for Brakpan (Mr. Bezuidenhout) that I have thoroughly considered his objection in regard to the seven days limitation and I do not think it is a very real objection, because the local authority can meet such a committee by giving it more time. If, however, the hon. member strongly feels that a longer period should be provided in the Act itself, he must move such an amendment.
I want to say in the first place that hon. members are in my opinion making a mistake in regard to their views on this clause, because they are concentrating only on one or two areas. But we have to deal with the whole country and with various groups which are in various stages of development. We have to deal with many places where such local authorities have to be established, and this clause has been drafted in such a way as to deal with the various areas with which we are concerned. We are not limited only to the Peninsula or to certain areas in the Peninsula.
The first objection is that the consultative committee is to be nominated. But that is already contained in the 1909 Act, in terms of which we have had success in respect of the rural areas. It is something which is already applied in the local government areas in terms of the divisional council ordinances in the Cape Province. There is a nominated committee. In the third place, it applies to a local board. In terms of the provincial ordinance, the Administrator nominates people. Now the hon. member wants to know from me how I will do it. I want to tell him that there will be negotiations with the Administrator and the local authorities concerned, and wherever possible this Department and the Department of Coloured Affairs will assist the residents in the particular area to form associations from which we can select leaders to appoint to this Committee. They are busy doing that already. But in the last place, in regard to this point, nothing prevents the local authority from forming a liaison with that committee by means of a committee established by them. Nothing prevents them from appointing a member of the town council, who will be specially entrusted with liaison with that committee. The hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) said this Committee was useless because they can only make representations and the city council can refuse to give effect to them. But in the same way any voter can make representations to this House, which can refuse to give effect to them. Is that voter then valueless?
In the second place, in regard to the management committee, nothing in the Bill prevents the stage of consultative committees being skipped and that we start off at the stage of the management committee. In other words, if an area lends itself to commencing at the higher stage of a management committee, it is possible to do so within the provisions of this clause. That is a more advanced stage. Now I want to add this. Although the Minister issues regulations in regard to the powers and functions, the Administrator is consulted in terms of 28 (e), and thereafter the management committee exercises its powers and functions under the supervision and control of the local authority and subject to the conditions set by the Administrator, as provided in Clause 22 (4). I repeat that although the Minister issues the regulations, it is done after consultation with the Administrator and subject to the conditions imposed by the Administrator. In other words, the management committee, although de jure it is a separate body, de facto it is a standing committee of that local authority. I hope the hon. member now understands it.
Now, when we have reached this stage, the preparatory steps in the training process have been completed, because this is a training process, and nothing in the Act prevents the speedy transition from a management committee to a full-fledged local authority in its own right. But if we continue without 25bis, the section which hon. members now want to delete, the accusation made against us that we want to establish inferior bodies would be true. Because in the Cape Province there is only a limited role for Coloureds and Indians in local government and 25bis now makes it possible for more Coloureds to play their role in local government. The establishment of the local authority in the Cape Province will take place in terms of the existing ordinance here, except that the sphere is enlarged by 25bis. But in the other provinces there is, in effect, no opportunity for these people to participate in local government. We are now making it possible for progress to be made in the other provinces, under present circumstances, to the stage of having management committees also in those provinces, but in the meantime the other provinces can make that possible by amending their ordinances so that this further step envisaged in 25bis can also become possible there. That is why I told the hon. members for Germiston (District) and South Coast last night that I do not intend introducing legislation to make it possible. I hope the provinces will do so, and I think they will be forced to do so by their own municipal associations.
I am very sorry that when I gave the undertaking here last night, that undertaking was not published. Perhaps it was an omission, but I said last night that I hoped the country would be informed about it because it is important that the regulations which will be framed will be submitted to the four Executive Committees of the Provinces before promulgation. But we shall not stop there. We will also submit them to the Executives of the four municipal associations, and only after having consulted with them will we publish the regulations. I already have the assurance that certain municipal associations wish to co-operate heartily with me, and hon. members would be surprised to hear which associations they are.
Finally, I want to say this. The existing franchise enjoyed by people at the moment is not affected, and I want to deny that strenuously. People who now enjoy the franchise will not be affected. The faster we progress from the management committee to the 25bis possibilities, the more the transition will make it possible that nobody who in future could have obtained the franchise in the Cape Province will be affected.
I have tried to give a resumé of the position. I can contribute nothing more to the discussion. This is an attempt to do justice to the White people in their areas, and also to do justice to the non-Whites, and I hope that we will now stop sowing suspicion and try to make the best of a difficult business.
In conclusion, I want to say this. I have already told the hon. members for Simonstown and Umlazi that I am aware of the problems they raised, and I do not pretend to have the answers to all these things. I do not pretend to know it all. We are dealing with a very difficult problem, but we cannot allow ourselves to be frightened away by these problems from seeking the solution. That is why in Section 2Sbis it is provided that an ad hoc committee can be appointed, on which the Administrator will be represented, and that committee will have to examine these things for us in the light of local conditions, which will differ from town to town. Only when we know what the problems are and what the particular difficulties are, will we be able to act in the light of that information. I do not intend rushing into this matter. I will seek all possible co-operation with the local authorities and with the provincial administrations, but we are going to try to implement in an honest and humane manner this policy which makes it possible to do justice to the White man in his area and to the Coloured and the Indian in theirs, (areas).
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
Before business was suspended, the hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden) entered into the debate on Clause 22 and contended that the statement which I made last night in which I mentioned that the vast majority of the Coloured people of the Cape Province had no desire to have established on their behalf consultative committees or management committees or indeed Coloured municipalities, was incorrect. He created the impression in this House that he could speak more authoritatively on behalf of the Coloured people and he repudiated what I had said. Ordinarily one would ignore a contention such as that from the hon. member for Malmesbury.
He put some facts to you.
I want the Minister to listen to some facts which I propose to put before the Committee this evening and I want the Committee to judge whether he can speak more authoritatively on behalf of the Coloured people than I can. The hon. member obviously has a very short memory. He forgets that in 1954 it was no other person than the hon. member for Malmesbury himself who moved in the Provincial Council that the Coloureds should be deprived of their municipal franchise …
Order! That subject is not under discussion.
Mr. Chairman, am I not entitled to answer some of the criticism which that hon. member has levelled against me?
Only in relation to this clause.
But this is in relation to this clause. This clause deals with the establishment of committees and a new method of municipal franchise after these consultative and management committees have been established. I want to say that the Committee can take no notice at all of the representations made by the hon. member for Malmesbury because he moved that the Coloured people should be deprived of their common franchise rights and that the same qualification which pertains to them in relation to the parliamentary vote should apply to them in future in regard to the municipal franchise.
The hon. member admits it. Yet he has the temerity to come forward in this Chamber and claim to speak on behalf of the Coloured people as their champion, a man who himself acknowledges now that he moved that they be deprived of this common municipal franchise right. The hon. member for Malmesbury should be the last member of this House to claim to have the right to speak on behalf of the Coloured people. I leave it at that. If, however, he does not accept what I say—I just want to make one further observation before I leave the hon. member for Malmesbury—and he really thinks that he can speak as the champion of the Coloured people, there is a very easy way of testing it.
Order! Will the hon. member please come back to the clause.
I just want to finish this off, Sir, with your permission. I say there is a very easy way of testing it. I am prepared to resign my seat. The hon. member can contest …
Order! That has nothing whatsoever to do with this clause.
I shall come in unopposed.
I want to make one observation in regard to that hon. member, Sir. I promise you I will leave the hon. member alone after that. I make this proviso that if he does not forfeit his deposit, I will give R2,000 to National Party funds.
I now want to deal with very important questions that were raised before the adjournment to which the hon. the Minister replied. I want to deal firstly with the Minister’s refusal to accept the amendment moved by the hon. member for Umlazi (Mr. Lewis) in regard to the deletion of sub-clause (5) of 25bis. In giving his reasons for refusing to accept that amendment, the Minister said that he could not accept the amendment because he felt that the Minister had to retain the right from time to time to repeal, alter, amend or modify any law relating to the establishment of these committees; that it was a right which was inherent to be preserved by the Government.
You are quite wrong in what you are saying.
I understood the Minister to say that he could not accept it because this was a right which he had to retain.
I said that we cannot delete sub-section (5) of 25bis for the simple reason that it is our policy not to have these local authorities constituted in such a way that persons who are not qualified can serve on them. That is point number one. The second point is that the qualifications laid down by the provincial ordinances are so divergent—and I am now reading what I said—“that not one portion is common. There is only one solution and that is to lay those qualifications down which will bring about uniformity”. I said further that this provision was limited to authorities in non-White group areas. Those were my reasons. You have just heard what the hon. member has done with them, Sir.
Sir, I accept the hon. the Minister’s explanation and I shall show how unreasonable this is. What is the procedure which the Minister proposes in 25bis in regard to the establishment of these local authorities? In terms of sub-section (1) of 25bis the Minister will appoint a committee to investigate and report on the desirability or otherwise of establishing a local authority. So he appoints a committee. The people appointed to that committee will be the nominees of the Government.
Read the clause.
… for which a management committee has been established in terms of section 25 or comprising any two or more areas … for which management committees consisting of persons of the same group have been so established.
Why do you stop there?
I will deal with the whole lot. We have plenty of time; the Minister need not worry. I want to pause here and say that the committee appointed by the Minister to investigate and report upon the desirability of establishing a local authority will be Government nominees. It then says in (2) (a) that the committee so appointed by the Minister shall consist of not more than five members of whom at least one shall be a person nominated by the Administrator. Again I suggest that the nominees will be Government nominees. In (b) it says—
The Minister is again virtually controlling the whole of this proposed committee. Sub-section (3)—
I want to omit the intervening lines, because they are not really important.
Read the whole clause.
I shall do so with pleasure—
That is the area determined by the hon. the Minister—
this amounts to this:
That after the Minister has decided that in his opinion it is desirable to establish a local authority, he will have the right to instruct the Administrator of the province concerned to establish a local authority, of a type that he, the Minister, determines, in respect of an area which the Minister determines and subject to the conditions which the Minister determines. It is true that he does that after consultation with the Administrator, which, as I said last night, means absolutely nothing. The point that I am trying to make is this, that here we have the establishment of this so-called local authority for Coloured people established entirely on the initiative and on the conditions and on the instructions imposed by the Minister himself. One would have imagined that would have been sufficient, because it is quite obvious from what I have read from the earlier part of this clause that the Minister will only establish this local authority after he has satisfied himself from the committee which he has appointed to investigate and report to him, that such a local authority should be established. [Time limit.]
I do not intend taking part in this debate much longer. Before business was suspended I gave a very clear exposition of the various steps which were envisaged under this measure. I explained that the object of establishing advisory committees and management committees was that we had to look at the country as a whole and not concentrate on one area only. In other words, where there are communities which have to be trained and prepared for municipal government, the opportunity to do so should be created. As I have said these two steps have been fully approved of by the provincial administrations. I added that it was only in the Cape Province where there was an Ordinance in terms of which the provisions of 25bis could be applied in practice. I said that for the purposes of 25bis there was no provision for its application in the other three provinces. I also said that those ordinances would have to be adapted to meet that need. But the hon. member is trying to evade that. You see, Sir, this provision amounts to this that the Coloured person and the Indian as communities in their own town or city areas are not being denied the right to develop into full-fledged municipalities. It is important to know that. The advisory committees constitute the preparatory stage; the management committees constitute the stage where he assumes responsibilities, but nothing prevents us from starting with the management committee stage. In the case of Bellville South, for example, we may perhaps start with the management committee stage and switch over very soon to the establishment of a full-fledged municipality. The trouble, however, is that the ordinances in the other three provinces do not make provision for that. This provision is really a guiding provision giving those provinces the opportunity of adapting their ordinances so that it will be possible to take those steps towards full-fledged municipalities. Why is the hon. member trying to evade that? The second point I want to make is this: This provision broadens the field in which the franchise can be given to the non-Whites in respect of the municipal franchise. No matter how he argues the hon. member cannot get away from that.
When my time expired I had not completed the point which I wanted to make. I have listened to the hon. the Minister and I want him to listen to me when I make this point. I think I have dealt fairly with the position whereby in terms of Section 25bis, the Minister, after the appointment of a committee by himself to investigate and report upon the desirability or otherwise of the establishment of a local authority, will be empowered to do so after consultation with the Administrator of the province concerned, and subject to such conditions as to area and everything else, that the Minister alone may determine. One would have imagined that the Minister would only have established this local authority after he was absolutely satisfied in his own mind that every avenue had been explored so as to justify the establishment of this Coloured local authority. But what do we find, Sir? The Minister, notwithstanding all these rights that he has under this Clause, introduces sub-section (5) which vests in him certain other rights. It is true that the State President is mentioned in that sub-section, but we all know that the State President in effect means the hon. the Minister. What does it mean? The Minister says in sub-section (5)—
Without reference again to this House, without reference to the Administrator, without reference to the local authority which he himself has appointed—
I have replied to that point.
Does this not mean that the Minister in taking these grave additional powers to himself can, notwithstanding anything that his original committee has reported, notwithstanding anything the Administrator of the province concerned may have agreed upon, repeal, alter or amend the law in connection with the requirements to be complied with in order to become a member of any local authority? I am perhaps putting this facetiously, Sir, but it is a possibility What is to prevent the hon. the Minister, on his own, to decide that no Coloured man shall qualify to become a member of this local authority unless he is a member of the Nationalist Party.
Don’t be absurd! Did you not listen when I was discussing this whole principle just before the dinner adjournment?
I listened to the hon. the Minister. Quite frankly the Minister’s explanation did not impress me. I say these are tremendous powers which the Minister is taking unto himself, powers whereby he can without reference to this Parliament, without reference to the Administrator of the province concerned or to the local authority which he has established, and even more so without reference to the original committee which he had appointed to investigate and report on the desirability of establishing this local authority, amend, alter, or modify the law so as to lay down conditions whereby a person can become a member of a local authority. Sir, I say that these are tremendous powers which may have a boomerang effect upon the hon. the Minister. Once the hon. the Minister has got the right of establishing these local authorities on the conditions that he himself imposes after his own committee has investigated and reported, he should be satisfied. If he wants to change the conditions upon which those local authorities have been established, that should be done only in the ordinary normal course by the provincial administration of the province concerned.
But three provincial authorities cannot provide for that.
It is not beyond the wit of the Minister to vest that power in them.
It is not necessary for me to tell the Minister how that can be done. I say it will be more fair and it will be of far greater benefit to the Minister’s policy if he will vest that power in the administrations and not take it unto himself.
Another aspect which has not been dealt with is this: Under sub-section (6) of the proposed Section 25bis the Minister has also taken this power unto himself: He can make different provisions in respect of different areas. Can you imagine the ludicrous position that may arise if the hon. the Minister imposes different conditions as to membership in different areas of a local authority. For instance in respect of the local authority that he is going to establish at Woodstock, he may impose different conditions in respect of that local authority, from those that he is going to establish in Athlone and also different conditions in respect of the local authority that he is going to establish at Wynberg. I mention these three because they are areas which are predominantly occupied by Coloured people. I say that this is a dangerous clause and notwithstanding the fact that the Minister says three provinces have not got this power, Parliament can vest them with that power.
That is what we are doing.
Oh no. The Minister is taking that power unto himself, That is the difference.
You have not convinced me at all.
I do not think the Archangel Gabriel would convince that hon. member. I honestly believe that on reflection the hon. the Minister will realize that he is being wholly unreasonable in his determination to retain these omnipotent powers. The Minister will realize on reflection that if he wants to administer these local authorities properly, it should be left to the provincial administrations under whose jurisdiction the local authorities fall. In any case, the Administrators, in consultation with their executive committees, are adequately equipped to deal with local authorities.
Before business was suspended, the hon. the Minister made a very definite statement to the other side of the House in connection with these regulations— he also did so last night. Not only would he submit them to the executive committees of the four provinces but he will submit them to the four executive bodies of the municipalities of the provinces as well. I now want to know from hon. members opposite, particularly from the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) where will they find consultation on a larger scale than that in the whole world.
Mr. Chairman, the one body which can testify as to Russia and Russian methods is the Cape Town Municipality of which that hon. member was a member for years.
The hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) accused me of having misled the House. He says the Coloureds are paying their rental on a weekly basis to the Cape Town Municipality at their own request. I am sorry if I was not clear when I explained the background of the principle which is contained in this Clause.
May I ask the hon. member a question? I should like to know how many of the inhabitants of West Bank at Malmesbury have the municipal franchise?
Those inhabitants of West Bank at Malmesbury who pay their rent monthly have the vote. The hon. members interrupts me; I intend giving all the facts. I shall not hide anything, I shall not spare myself. I want to repeat these facts in case I was not clear.
How many pay weekly?
I want to give the figures relating to the houses which the Municipality of Cape Town have built since 1920. In the case of Whites the municipality has constructed 186 sub-economic houses; for Coloureds 5,462. I want you to take note of this Mr. Chairman: Under the sub-economic rent scheme 5,740—that is for Coloureds. Economic schemes where the houses are sold, in the case of Whites, 561; in the case of Coloureds, 751. They have the vote; they are the owners of those houses. These subeconomic and economic rent schemes together amount to 11,202. The hon. member for Simonstown is not a member of the Cape Town City Council. He is the mayor of Simonstown. He says I have misled the House. Let me say this to the hon. member
Amongst these 11,202 …
Will the hon. member tell me what that has to do with this clause?
Mr. Chairman, I am giving the background because of the accusation which has come from that side of the House that the Coloureds do not want this kind of franchise, this kind of local government which this clause provides for. I am giving the background of that which they have and with which they are satisfied, according to the hon. member for Peninsula and with which, I contend, they are not satisfied. Amongst these 11,202—I must be honest; I have not got the figures, as a matter of fact I cannot get the figures from the Cape Town City Council—there are Coloureds who pay monthly because they receive their salaries and wages monthly. But in spite of the fact that they pay on a monthly basis they pay their rent on a weekly basis and consequently they cannot vote. That is where the deceit comes in. I go further. What the hon. member for Peninsula has alleged is true, I did move a motion in the Provincial Council to obtain uniformity throughout the four provinces. My motion was that as far as local government was concerned, the Coloureds in the four provinces should be placed on and recognized under the parliamentary roll so as to obtain uniformity. When I spoke about this clause this afternoon I said that the biggest problem in connection with the application of this clause, was the fact that there was no uniformity and that because of this this legislation could not be regarded as final. It is only giving a guide to the provinces. The various provinces have to react to it. It is a guide to them. I tried in 1954 to achieve uniformity as far as the franchise of the non-Whites for local government in the four provinces of the Union as it then was, was concerned. We are now going to achieve that under this amending legislation. The effect of Clause 22 will be that there will eventually be uniformity.
Now I want to go further. The hon. member for Simonstown said I had misled the House in another respect. He said that the statements I had made in respect of a certain Maj. A. Z. Berman who was a member of the Provincial Council in 1951 were not true. I want to give you another fact, Sir, because I want to prove my statements. The hon. member says I have no right to speak on behalf of the Coloureds. Mr. Chairman, I am not talking on their behalf. I do not have the right to talk on their behalf, neither has he the right to talk on their behalf. What both of us can do is to talk for them. There is only group of people who can talk on their behalf and that is the National Council of Coloureds. They have the right to talk on their behalf.
I am not talking on their behalf; I am talking for them. Let me draw your attention to this, Mr. Chairman, that the National Council, according to the statement by the Minister, was consulted by the inter-departmental committee who recommended this clause and that National Council concurred fully with it. They are the people who are talking on behalf of the Coloureds. I said that in 1951 a certain Maj. A. Z. Berman had approached me to try to persuade me not to oppose the amendment of the Ordinance from a monthly basis to a weekly basis because it related to the Coloureds. I was not alone, however. A deputation interviewed him. One of the members was Mr. A. P. Venter the present M. E. C. and the other member was the then leader of the Nationalist Party. There were three of us. They came and asked us not to oppose it; they tried to convert us as Nationalists and they said “Do not oppose this; we are only going to apply it to the Coloureds”. Strangely enough, according to the figures I have given you, Sir, they kept their word. But do you know what makes me blush, Sir—I am going to give you the background of this clause— what makes me blush is the fact that they are the people who tell the world that we on this side of the House are ill-treating and oppressing the Coloureds and non-Whites in South Africa, whereas we are the very people who want to see justice done to them. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Malmesbury chose to tell this House a deliberate untruth in regard to the City Council of Cape Town.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw the words “deliberate untruth”.
I withdraw those words. May I say that it was an incorrect statement, the incorrectness of which I have nailed. Sir, his case is so weak in regard to the voting of people occupying sub-economic houses, that he cannot accept the truth of the position as I put it. want to ask him, because I think it is germane as it affects the whole of the Cape Province What about the tenants at West Bank, Malmesbury in his constituency? I put that question to him just now and he cleverly avoided that question by saying those who paid by the month, got the vote, but he studiously avoided to say that those in West Bank who pay by the week have not got the vote.
But that was as a result of your ordinance.
I am now referring to his own constituency.
Order! The question as to whether Coloureds have the vote at present or not is not germane to this clause.
Mr. Chairman, I obey your ruling, but I do hope that as the hon. member made those accusations, we shall have the opportunity, in fairness to the City Council of Cape Town, and in fairness to the whole province, to put the matter right, and I want you to allow me once and for all to say that as a result of the court case in 1945, occupants of sub-economic houses in West Bank, Malmesbury, in Hermanus and throughout the Cape Province, lost their franchise because they occupied houses which were not rateable. It had nothing to do with the question as to whether they paid by the week or the month. I do not want to deal with the hon. member for Malmesbury. He cuts no ice. I repeat what I said, namely that he is the arch enemy of the Coloured people, they reject him, they don’t want to have anything to do with him. But now I come to the hon. the Minister, and I want to say this, that the hon. the Minister is most dangerous when he is charming, when he gets cross he is not dangerous, but when he is so charming as he as been this afternoon and when he is smiling, then you have to be careful. I want to tell you, Mr. Chairman, that the “arme” Minister tried to tell us that because in three provinces the Coloured man has no vote, he requires these powers under section 25bis.
Not only because of that.
Well, he gave it as one of the reasons. Now I am very suspicious of that, because if the Administration in Natal —I am taking Natal in particular for the reasons which I will give in a moment—if the Administration in Natal, in which province the hon. the Minister is going to create a municipality in terms of sub-section (3), does not want to co-operate and the Executive Committee of the Provincial Council of Natal says “We will not alter our municipal ordinance to give a vote to those people”, then the hon. the Minister will say “I will change the law for you”. That is what this Bill says, and the Minister has admitted it, that if he gets a recalcitrant executive committee or a recalcitrant Provincial Council which is not prepared to give a vote to the Coloured people within their province, the Minister will say “I will change the law, and you will give them the vote”. The Minister has admitted it. You see, Mr. Chairman, I said before that the hon. the Minister is taking the power unto himself to over-ride anybody and everybody within the province, or in South Africa.
Don’t you want them to have the vote?
Of course I want them to have the vote, but there are many other ways—there are ways and means of doing the right thing.
You are “Kleurling-verneukers”.
Mr. Chairman, is the hon. member entitled to say that I am a “Kleurling-verneuker ”?
I said referring to the City Council of Cape Town that they were “Kleurling-verneukers”.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.
I withdraw the word “Kleurling-verneuker”.
He was a “Jode-verneu-ker”, but he cannot catch the Jews as he catches other people. I want to say that this clause is dangerous, it is giving powers to one man and makes him a virtual dictator. The hon. Minister cannot get away with the argument that because the Coloured people in the Transvaal and in the Free State and in Natal have not got the vote, he requires those powers. Sir, there is a very easy way of doing things. They must amend their ordinances.
Of course. That is what I said.
No, the hon. Minister did not understand his own argument. The hon. Minister in this clause says that the provincial councils in the three provinces if they do not change their ordinances they way he wants them to change their ordinances, then he will do it himself. But all the administrators in the other provinces need do is to change their ordinances to say that the Coloured people shall have the same qualifications for voting in municipal elections as you have in the Cape Occupation of rateable property. Why should we not extend the Cape law to Natal, the Free State and Transvaal? I want to come to another point under sub-section (5).
You should take the matter up with the hon. member for Natal-South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell) the leader of your party.
The hon. member for South Coast will deal with the hon. Minister when he comes back on Monday.
You promised you would deal with the Prime Minister.
I decided to spare the Prime Minister. [Time limit.]
I do not want to go into the whole question again. We discussed it fully during the second reading. As a matter of fact this was the only part of the Bill hon. members opposite knew anything about, they knew nothing about the rest. In fairness towards the hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden) and in order to disillusion the hon. member for Boland (Mr. Barnett) to some extent, I want to give him the figures which he unexpectedly tried to get from the hon. member for Malmesbury when he did not have them with him. Like his colleagues the hon. member is doing everything in his power in an attempt to get away from the disgrace which they have brought upon themselves throughout the years, but they are enveloped in it but they will not get away from it. I just want to say to the hon. member for Boland that according to the Rossouw commission there were 3,200 Coloureds in Malmesbury but they were segregated and lived at West Bank; and of those, 374 had the vote and I understand there were only 600 odd houses. Compare that with Simonstown where there are more Coloureds, namely 3,500 and where only 202 have the vote. When we go to the platteland we come to Bredasdorp where there are 2,350 Coloureds of whom 169 have the vote. Hon. members can jump about as much as they please, but what they are doing is to plead for the retention of rights which the Coloureds in reality never enjoyed, because the United Party deliberately kept those rights away from them. They have no explanation for what they have been doing towards the Coloureds of the Peninsula all these years in respect of local government, but in terms of this clause the Coloureds will henceforth have an opportunity, even though it may be at the bottom of the ladder, starting with the advisory committees and ultimately the management committees and so forth. When some area or other has developed to the management committee stage they will be given an opportunity of introducing some form of local government along the lines of existing practice in the Cape Province, and that is more than they have to-day under those gentlemen opposite.
It is laughable and tragically cynical to hear hon. members, such as the hon. members for Parow and Malmesbury lauding the number of Coloured people on the Common Roll in their constituencies when they are speaking in favour of a measure which is designed to do away with that very thing.
Coming back to Section 25bis which is embodied in Clause 22 of the Bill, I should like to deal for a moment with the phrase which is used in sub-section (3), and that is the creation “of a local authority of the type specified by the Minister”. Now I understood the Minister to say that the object of this sub-section was to allow various types of local authority to be established suitable for the needs of the community it serves, that a variety would be needed because some were at an advanced stage and others not. What puzzles me is that in every province there is legislation presently existing which enables various types of local authority to be created, from the lowliest village management board to the biggest town council.
I have dealt with that point already.
May be, but I should like the hon. the Minister to deal with it again and to take it a little further. Is it the Minister’s intention that the local authority of the type that we already know will be created by the powers we are to give him in terms of this sub-section, or are we to have some new type of local authority, a type to be specified by the hon. the Minister? I should like the hon. the Minister to give the House some indication of what he has in mind in this regard, because if he intends establishing local authorities of the type known to us at the present time, for which legislation presently exists, why then bring in legislation of this kind which gives him a discretion to create a new type of local authority if need be— and it may be that is what the Minister has in mind—local authorities in which the elective system is absent, namely boards responsible only to the Minister, similar to all the other boards we have been dealing with under this particular piece of legislation.
Nominated by the Minister.
That is exactly what I had in mind, appointed and nominated by the Minister. If he denies that, I should like to hear him say so, and I would like to hear the justification for giving himself these sweeping powers, where it says “A type specified by him will be established for such area”. I would like to hear the justification for this, bearing in mind that there is presently legislation which could be used by the hon. the Minister in order to create local authorities in the areas we are presently dealing with.
There is one other aspect of this clause and that is in relation to the provisions in this clause which empower the Minister to establish local authorities, or management committees, in a number of areas under the jurisdiction of a local authority, and I wonder whether the hon. the Minister has given his attention to the question of licensing trading premises. Are we to have the situation, Sir, whereby within one local authority area of jurisdiction, we are going to have three or four or more local authorities, all with the power to licence trading premises? I will give the hon. the Minister one concrete example of the difficulty that can arise. He creates in the Grey Street complex of Durban, which is predominantly an Indian area, an Indian local authority, that is where all the Indian traders are. Is that local authority going to have the right to licence traders, and what co-ordination is there going to be? We have heard a great deal about co-ordination. What coordination is there going to be between the licences issued by the local authority of that particular non-European area and the licences issued by the local authority which governs Durban as a whole? If we are going to have, as is suggested, a number of local authorities established within the present geographical area of an existing town council, you are going to have boundaries which are unknown to the general public, and things which are legal in one particular municipality will be illegal a few yards away in another municipality, and it is difficult to conceive of a situation more given to chaos than that situation. If there is an explanation for it, I should be glad to hear it.
I just want to explain very briefly. After their investigation the ad hoc committee will have to advise at what stage of development that local authority should be instituted—it can be a town council, it can also be a full-fledged municipality. That will depend on the report of the ad hoc committee. As far as the other matter which the hon. member raised, is concerned, the question of licences, that is also a question that will have to be dealt with by the ad hoc committee and on which they will have to report. Only then can it be decied upon.
I do not intend to follow the line which I took earlier in regard to the hon. member for Malmesbury’s stand. I have dispensed with him completely. I now want to deal with another aspect of the clause …
What about West Bank?
I have got the information about West Bank, which confirms my theory that people who pay there by the month have the vote, but the hon. member studiously avoided to tell us that 300 odd who pay by the week have no vote. What applies to Cape Town applies apparently to his constituency. I now want to ask the hon. the Minister to tell us whether in fact under 25bis (5), he can in fact make laws which will prohibit Coloured people from ever becoming councillors of the City of Cape Town, because I believe that is the hidden implication.
You are absolutely wrong.
The hon. the Minister shakes his head, but I will try to prove to him that is possible under this sub-section.
I am not taking away any existing rights.
I did not say that. I said that under Section 25bis (5) it is possible that the Coloured man who is presently a member of the City Council of Cape Town may lose his seat by virtue of this section.
Read 25bis (1).
Why interrupt me? The hon. the Minister can make any laws and he can amend laws or modify laws in connection with the requirements to be complied with by members of local authorities, including the council of a municipality in the Cape Province. In other words, and I can only take the Cape Province because I know the Cape Province, if the hon. the Minister in terms of this section declares Athlone as a Coloured municipal area, he can say that no person who resides in Athlone shall be able to vote for a councillor for the City Council of Cape Town. The Minister under this section can prohibit dual voting. Under this section, in my opinion, he can do so.
Read the rest of the sub-section.
Different provisions may be made in respect, of different areas. Apparently the hon. the Minister does not know his own Bill. I say that it is capable of the interpretation that the Minister can say Anybody who is a voter in a municipality which I have declared interms of sub-section (3) shall not be allowed to vote for anybody in the City Council of Cape Town.
Read the last two lines of sub-section (5).
Yes: “In so far as it applies in respect of a local authority established in terms of sub-section (3).”
There you have your answer.
No, that is precisely my difficulty. I want to put a case to the hon. member for Ceres If in fact in terms of sub-section (3) Athlone is declared a municipality, the hon. the Minister can make laws and say that any person who is a voter in a municipality which has been declared in terms of sub-section (3) shall not have a vote in respect of any municipal council outside that area. The hon. the Minister can make that law. It will be “one man, one vote”, and it will be “one municipality, one vote”.
But you are really talking nonsense!
I would like to ask the hon. member for Cradock a question What day is it? You know?
I say that under this sub-section (5) the hon. the Minister can disfranchise the Coloured people of Athlone when they have become a separate municipality of voting for people who are candidates for the Cape Town Municipal Council, and in that way he can get rid of Coloured members who are at present members of the City Council of Cape Town. [Time limit.]
I maintain that under this clause which we are discussing at the moment the Coloureds can expect greater justice than in the past, because the people who are passing this legislation are different people from those who passed Ordinance No. 19 of 1951. I want to prove to you, Sir, why they can expect a new set-up and greater justice. I have already said that Ordinance No. 19 provided that a local government could let its municipal houses on a weekly basis.
Order! The hon. member must confine himself to the details of the clause.
Will you allow me, Sir, in view of the fact that the correctness of the facts which I have given you, is being doubted, to state one fact which I have now determined? I have only just obtained the figures which reflect the position which obtained in the past. I have given you the data as far as Cape Town is concerned and now I want to give you the example of another municipality, namely Malmesbury. I want to show how this legislation will be applied in future and what the Coloured person can expect under this clause if he falls under a municipality such as Malmesbury where he has been justly treated in the past. I just want to make a comparison. I got the figures which I am about to quote from the Rossouw report. In 1959 there were 374 Coloured voters in Malmesbury. There were only 432 houses at West Bank at the time; so that 80 per cent of those house-owners had the vote. To-day there are 632 houses. I do not know how many have the vote to-day but in 1959 80 per cent had the vote. The hon. member for Boland now claims that he is speaking on behalf of the Coloureds but I want to tell the hon. member that his future actions will have to be different from his actions of the past.
I want to come back to the statement just made by the hon. the Minister that the provisions of this clause could not be used to deal with the franchise question, and I want to challenge the hon. the Minister and to say to him that the information he gave a moment or two ago across the floor of the House is incorrect. I refer the hon. the Minister to the proposed new Section 25bis, which provides in sub-section (3) for the creation of a new local authority. I quote—
And then it says that all conditions precedent to the establishment must have been duly met. I need not quote that in full. The point I wish to make is that what is established in terms of 25bis, which is quite different in this respect from the earlier new section which was introduced, is a local authority and in terms of the clause it is a local authority according to the law in force of that province. Now. to the best of my knowledge, and I believe this is correct, the law in force in all the provinces of the Republic is to the effect that no area of land can be in two local authorities, it can only be in one. That the hon. the Minister cannot deny. Consequently, if a new local authority is established in terms of these provisions, irrespective of whether the necessary preliminary work has been done, it is a local authority according to the local government ordinance in force in the Cape Province. Which means that area must of necessity be excluded from the local authority within which it now is. In other words, take Cape Town. So far as Cape Town is concerned. it will hold its existing boundaries, but as the local authorities are established they will be carved out of the Cape Town area. They will then be local authorities according to the local government ordinance of the Cape Province. That obviously means that persons who are resident in that local authority area, provided they are living in a house of a certain value, will be entitled to vote. In addition to that, persons not resident there who own property in that area of the requisite value, will also be entitled to vote. It is obvious that a Coloured who to-day is within the Municipality of Cape Town, who has the necessary qualifications and is registered as a voter in the City of Cape Town, once the area in which he lives is excised from the Cape Town municipal area, he obviously ceases to have the vote in the Cape Town Municipality, unless he has ownership qualifications. And it is common cause that the vast majority of these Coloureds have not that qualification at the moment, and apart from that, in terms of other provisions of the Group Areas Act, it is no doubt the intention of the hon. the Minister in many areas (I don’t say all) to exercise the powers of the Group Areas Development Act which enables those properties to be dealt with. That being so, Sir, it is perfectly clear that, contrary to what the hon. Minister said earlier, the provisions of this Bill without their being amended, can, in fact, by dealing with the matter on a local authority basis, destroy the franchise as it exists in the City of Cape Town at the moment for voters who are members of that civic society. I challenge the hon. Minister to adduce proof before this House that what I am saying is untrue. I hope he will apologize to this House for the mistake he made earlier.
I should like to elaborate on the point which has just been raised by the hon. member for Germiston (District), i.e. in regard to the franchise of the individual who will have to live in one of the new local authority areas which the hon. Minister proposes to establish. Sir, the hon. Minister must know full well that it will be impossible for an individual to fulfil the conditions which the hon. Minister says such an individual will be able to fulfil. If the hon. Minister will listen for a moment, he will learn something about the operation of his group areas. The trouble, Sir, is that the hon. Minister is carefully evading a cardinal feature of group areas. Where he establishes a group area and he has got to do that before he can establish a local authority, i.e. a group area local authority, other group area regulations under existing legislation not at present under dispute, will compel every person belonging to that particular race group to reside in that area. The hon. Minister is fully aware that is the position. He must also know that, in the existing group areas legislation, there is provision that after a group area has been established for such people and after they had been moved into the area, they cannot hold property in any other area—which will in this case be the White area. So where a Coloured man, who owns property in the White area of the City of Cape Town and who has acquired his municipal franchise because of that fact, is moved to another area established as a Coloured group area, he must within a stated period relinquish his ownership and dispose of the property he had in the White area. And when he disposes of that property, he automatically disposes of his franchise rights in that area. So that while the hon. Minister may be technically correct when he says that he will not take the franchise away from such people, he will have no power to help such persons to retain their franchise rights. The law as it already exists will take care of it that those persons will lose those franchise rights in the White area. It will not be possible for them to retain their voting rights in this other area despite the hon. Minister’s assurances that is possible to do so. I would like the hon. Minister to look into that very carefully because this is a fact and no matter how he tries to explain it away, he cannot get away from the fact that this will be the effect of the clause we are dealing with now. It is borne out still more by the succeeding clause with which I am not allowed to deal with now. As the Minister responsible for this particular type of legislation, the hon. Minister must know full well that is in fact the case because, whether he likes it or not and whether the Government or the individual concerned like it or not, the present law provides that such a person cannot own the vote in the two separate areas. Eventually he must lose his vote although it might take some time depending upon when he has to dispose of his property in the other main local authority area, and instead become a voter in the circumscribed area in which the hon. Minister will lay down the conditions on which it is to be administered and prescribe all the other features which go to make up the administration of such an area.
If the hon. Minister replies to these points I would also like him to give the House some further information on sub-section (4) of the proposed new Section 25bis reading as follows—
I want to take as an example of a portion of such local authority area in Athlone, another portion in Retreat where there is an area which as one can foresee will develop as a Coloured group area, and another portion ten miles away from that, but all falling within the municipal area of the City of Cape Town. According to the provisions of this particular sub-section, these portions can become one municipal area although they are in actual fact separated by many miles. This is a completely new feature in municipal government, and I want to ask the hon. Minister how a council which is appointed to administer such a local authority, would be able to do it while the areas are so far apart? How would a council be able to supply water and sewerage to areas which have a strip of ten miles of another municipality lying between their boundaries? How can they be governed by one council which is ultimately to be responsible for the upkeep of the entire new area? I would like the hon. Minister to say how it would be possible to apply this in practice. I suppose the hon. Minister will tell us, like he did on other questions, that the ad hoc committee has not yet considered the matter. All I can tell him then is that his ad hoc committee is going to be very, very busy before it has dealt with all the absurdities of this Bill. I hope that this ad hoc committee is not going to be a one-man committee of which we have heard earlier this afternoon because then I would say, “Heaven help that poor fellow and Heaven help the new ratepayers who are going to be created in the new areas which it is intended to set up.”
Order! Before calling upon the next speaker, I would like to request hon. members to produce new arguments. The House has now heard the same argument over and over again.
A point on which I would like an explanation from the hon. Minister or from someone on his behalf, is why in sub-section (5) of the proposed new Section 25bis the following words have been included, namely—
(including the council of a municipality in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope).
These words have lead to confusion in the minds of many people who read this Bill and they have asked themselves whether this does not confer upon the hon. Minister the right to repeal, alter, amend, or modify any law not only relating to the local authorities to be established in terms of sub-section (3) but also in respect of any municipality within the Province of the Cape of Good Hope. To me it seems as if these words are superfluous and the hon. Minister ought to give the House an explanation. I think I know what the possible reason is for their inclusion, and if this reason is the same as that of the hon. Minister, then I think the matter could be dealt with in a far better form. At any rate, I think it is most confusing that these words should be incorporated in this sub-section in the way they have been. Can the hon. Minister explain to the House why it was necessary to include these words in this sub-section? This, I think, is a new point which requires clarification.
Another point which also has not yet been raised so far and which also requires clarification because it has aroused a great deal of confusion in the minds of many people who have studied this Bill, arises in connection with sub-section (4). We know that in terms of sub-section (3) of the proposed new Section 25bis, the hon. Minister after consultation with the Administrator, can in writing direct that a local authority of a type specified by him be appointed in respect of such area as the Minister himself can determine. In sub-section (4) however it is provided that—
I want to raise with the Minister the following aspect in this connection. Several speakers so far have raised the question what would happen to properties owned by Coloured people in areas which are not contiguous and which in terms of sub-section (4) will form a new local authority. I would like to ask the hon. Minister what is going to happen to properties owned by White people in those areas. Up to now only the question of properties owned by Coloureds has been dealt with. But what is going to happen to properties owned by Whites in these areas which are not conitguous and which are now going to form a new local authority in terms of sub-section (3)? Let me take the City of Cape Town again as being a very good example, on account of the fact that it has within its boundaries by far the largest Coloured population. We know that the Coloureds preponderate in areas which are mixed areas and that they own properties which are situated next to properties owned by Whites. If the hon. Minister is to declare any of these areas to be a group area for Coloured people and extend it also to other, although not contiguous areas, what is going to happen to the voting rights of those White people who are property owners in such areas?
Order! That point has already been raised.
That is the point I would like to raise and I would like the hon. Minister in the course of his reply to give the House the desired explanation. I submit that it is going to create a chaotic situation in a place like the City of Cape Town where you have White and Coloured property owners owning and occupying properties next door to each other in areas which are likely to become new local authorities.
The hon. Minister and the hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. Van Staden) have since the dinner adjournment returned to the question of franchise rights and have expressed the view that these provisions represent an extension of the franchise rights. With that view I want to deal very shortly now. The hon. Minister said, by way of interjection, that he was not taking away any existing rights. Nevertheless it has become clear from the debate so far that certain future rights are being taken away. Because they seem to believe that this Bill extends the franchise rights to the people concerned, they must also believe that what they intend putting in the place of the rights which are being taken away, will be far better. We, on this side of the House, dispute that very hotly. We have, therefore, these two conflicting views. The impartial judges in this question are those persons directly affected because after all it is not ours but the rights of the Coloured people that are affected. Notwithstanding the fact that the hon. Minister was reminded in the second reading that no evidence was placed before this House which proved that the Coloured people were in favour of this new kind of franchise rights, he has not since then come forward with anything to prove that they in fact want it. He has not done that although he is in close touch with the Coloured Advisory Council. We have heard the Coloured representatives intimating in this House that the Coloureds are against it. This, I suggest, is the best impartial judge of whether this is, in fact, an extension of voting rights or a diminution.
The hon. member for Germiston (District) (Mr. Tucker) asked the hon. Minister some pertinent questions in regard to this clause but instead of giving a reply, the hon. Minister has apparently decided to retire into his shell and not to talk any more. I, however, think that this House is entitled to a reply from the hon. Minister. A sound and clear and unequivocal case has been put here by the hon. member for Germiston (District), a case based on a question of fact and not on a question of opinion.
Order! The hon. member must come back to the clause under discussion.
Mr. Chairman, this clause provides that the hon. Minister can, after consultation with the Administrator, direct that a local authority should be established. The hon. member for Germiston (District) pointed out that in terms of existing legislation no property could fall within two local authorities.
Order! The hon. member is now repeating what the hon. member for Germiston (District) has said.
I am asking the hon. Minister to deny the statement made by the hon. member for Germiston (District). The hon. Minister has not done so yet and we on this side of the House is entitled to have an answer.
Order! Will the hon. member now please go on to the next point.
Apart from this particular point, other points have been raised with the hon. Minister. To these I would like to add a completely new point. The hon. Minister stated, and he was supported in that by hon. members opposite, that the establishment of these areas would create opportunities of employment for the Coloured people. I want to put it to the hon. Minister that immediately he has established such a local authority, he will be forcing White people to work for Coloured employers. The present Government has decided that certain tasks within a local authority may only be performed by Whites. In this connection I want to refer to the position in Durban where only White people are allowed to remove night soil. I want to say again that once the hon. the Minister has established such an area as is envisaged by this Bill, he will be forcing Whites to go into employment of Indian and Coloured employers. If, for instance, a Coloured local authority is established in Athlone, that local authority would have to employ White traffic policemen, White ambulance drivers, etc., because it is the policy of this Government that non-Whites should not be allowed to do that type of work. This is the sort of ridiculous situation which the policy of this Government and this hon. Minister is creating in this country. The hon. Minister is taking powers here which when applied in practice will be found to be completely impracticable to carry out. Meanwhile, the case we are putting up remains unanswered. The hon. Minister just sits there and mutters and mubbles, but does not get up and give us an answer to our questions.
Order! That point has already been raised.
If it has been made, Mr. Chairman, it is at least clear that the Minister is unable to answer the case which has been put up by this side.
When the House adjourned last night, I was dealing with sub-section (2) of the proposed new Section 25 which provides that a management or consultative committee shall consist entirely of members of the group for which a group area has been established. This is a matter which, I think, has got to be considered very seriously. I have had experience of advisory boards which are very much the same in their setup as these consultative committees which the hon. Minister proposes to appoint. From this experience I can say that if the hon. Minister is going to insist upon this particular provision, there are going to be certain snags. It is our experience, Sir, that consultative committees consisting of people other than Whites, have had very little experience of local management. They would, therefore need guidance and it is difficult for them in most cases to get such guidance from amongst their own people. What is more the hon. Minister has indicated that these people will act as a portion only of that local authority. How are these portions going to communicate with one another? How are they going to convey their decisions, the gist of their discussions from the one body to the other? Another point about the representatives on this type of committee, is that we have found many of them to be absolutely irresponsible. I do not say that is generally the position but it must be remembered that the hon. Minister is going to set up these consultative and management committees without giving them any responsibility or authority in the initial stages. They would not have the authority to raise taxes and rates and yet they have to make recommendations on the spending of such rates and taxes. He is, therefore, creating right from the start a body which has no reason to be a responsible body. If he is going to insist that every member of these committees should be members of the group for which the area concerned has been zoned, he is going to run into trouble. The hon. Minister has thus far waived these arguments aside by saying that he might not necessarily start with the first type of consultative committee but that he might appoint a management committee to start with even though it might have no authority. Can the hon. Minister name one area in the Republic where he can establish a local authority such as this contemplated here, and say that it will be successful? I do not think there are any at all. He will also have great difficulty to find an area where he can establish a management committee with any expectation of success. The consultative committees are no different from the old advisory boards where we have tried to teach these people. If he is not going to allow representatives of local authorities on those committees for the purpose of guiding them and to help them in their deliberations, these committees are not going to serve any purpose at all. The hon. Minister is quite aware of this, as is indicated by the provision in paragraph (b), namely that if they do not put forward their recommendations within seven days, they can be disregarded. What a way to start off this wonderful scheme of giving these people a right of self-determination and self-government! How can it succeed? There are dozens of points like this in this clause and if you, Sir, are going to curtail discussions on this clause by insisting that each speaker should raise new points, we shall not be able to discuss half of these points because the one is linked with the other. I myself can raise a dozen points which concern the very thing he wants to establish, namely local government, and these are important points—all of them. The hon. Minister is taking powers in this Bill to set up local authorities. He told the House that he was going to create committees with whom he was going to consult in connection with the setting up of such local authorities for non-European areas. But he is going to do that only after he has taken the decision to establish a local authority. He did not say that he was going to consult them before doing that so that he could be guided by their advice. If that is his intention, let him put it forward in this Bill. He has not done that however. Instead of doing that he has taken the power unto himself to decide where these areas are to be established and when they should be given a measure of self-government. When we come to the various clauses, however, he says that we do not understand him correctly and that he is going to consult with the local authority. That will however be done only in his own good time without being guided by that local authority, in determining where or how these group areas should be established. He is going to make the decision to establish them—probably by means of a housing scheme at first. Only thereafter will he consult with the local authority concerned. Then, of course things would have developed too far for the local authority to do anything about it. Therefore, I think, the hon. Minister should make provision for a certain number of representatives from the local authority and a representative perhaps of the Provincial Administration to sit on these management committees so that these people can be guided and assisted to attain what they would like to attain. Furthermore, the hon. Minister must bear in mind that he is applying these measures to people who do not want it. He is therefore not going to have their cooperation. It is very well to promise them this measure of self-government but the Coloureds, as has been pointed out especially by the Coloured representatives in this House, do not want it in the form in which it is being proposed under this measure. It must, therefore, be remembered that he is forcing it onto people who are unwilling to have it. What is more, he is going about it in the wrong way. He wants them to be self-sufficient—in the words of the hon. Prime Minister. The hon. Minister cannot expect them to be self-sufficient from the beginning. To expect that would be unfair, because they have not yet had any training in the running of the affairs of a local authority.
Mr. Chairman, there is only one question to which I have not as yet replied and that is the point raised by the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg). Referring to sub-section (5) of the proposed Section 25bis the hon. member asked me why the words “(including the council of a municipality in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope)” had been inserted in that sub-section. I just want to draw his attention to the fact that we had a similar case last year when we amended the Group Areas Act. In the Cape Province the position is that the legal persona are the board and the voters. If the hon. member will read the definition of “statutory body” in the principal Act he will see that provision is already made there for this. The words have consequently been inserted in this sub-section in order to define the position properly.
I thank the hon. Minister for the explanation he has given me, but I want to emphasize that despite that being the position, it is still likely to raise a considerable amount of doubt in the minds of people who read this sub-section in its present form. I think the matter can be better dealt with by including in the definitions clause of this Bill, i.e. Clause 1, a definition of “local authority” in relation to the provisions of the proposed Section 25bis.
I would like to raise another point which also has not yet been raised in the debate thus far. In reading through the new proposed Section 25bis, it will be observed that practically everything to be done under it, i.e. the establishment of local authorities and management and consultative committees for the areas to be established, etc. will be done by the hon. Minister by way of regulation. He will, for instance, establish his consultative committees by regulation …
I have replied fully to that.
Yes, I accept that. If the hon. Minister will bear with me a moment he will see the point I am driving at. The hon. Minister should be aware of the fact that there are school boards in the Cape Peninsula area to which Coloured representatives have been duly elected.
Order! Has that anything to do with this clause?
With respect, Sir, I think it has. In terms of the provisions of the proposed Section 25bis the hon. Minister can determine by regulation the type of local authority he is going to establish. The point I would like to make is that it is going to be done by way of regulation. The hon. Minister will have the only say on the question of what type of local authority should be established. What does he intend doing in regard to Coloured representation on school boards? What is he going to do in regard to Coloured representation on hospital boards? Is it his intention to remove these Coloured representatives from these boards now that he is establishing for them a form of local self-government as he calls it.
That has nothing to do with this clause but should have been raised during the second reading debate. The Coloured people, by reason of the fact that they are on the common municipal Voters’ Roll, have the right to be elected to school boards.
Order! I have ruled that school boards and other imaginary factors are not germane to this clause and the hon. member must abide by my ruling.
I accept your ruling, but are you suggesting that school boards are an imaginary thing?
It is not germane to this clause.
On a point of order, I think the point the hon. member is trying to make is this, that by virtue of the fact that the Coloured man is a municipal voter …
I know what the hon. member is referring to, and it is irrelevant. If he proceeds in this way, I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
In my second reading speech I raised certain points to which the Minister has not replied. I submit this is germane to the clause because the Minister may, in terms of this Section 25 (1), after consultation with the Administrator, establish any group area. Now I ask the Minister whether when he establishes these municipalities he will say, “I have declared a group area in Salt River and I have also declared portion of Woodstock as a Coloured area. They are one and a half miles away”. Under this clause he will be able to take that portion of the group area in Salt River and the portion in Woodstock and make it one municipality.
Order! That point has been made over and over again.
I am merely prefacing what he can do, and then I want to ask the Minister, to which he has not replied, what will be the position of the mother municipality when that is done. I think it is germane to the clause and there is nothing in the Act to say that the mother municipality will in any way be refunded any costs it has expended in these particular areas, and there is nothing in the Bill to say that these group areas which are now becoming municipalities will have to repay the mother municipality a proportionate share of the expenditure incurred in that area.
Order! Will the hon. member confine himself to the details given in this clause. This is another imaginary case.
Sir, my imagination is not running away with me.
Order! The hon. member must abide by my ruling.
I am, but I am merely pointing out that as the result of Section 25 (1) the Minister will have the power to cut off from the mother municipality …
The hon. member has already mentioned that.
The Coloured people have approached me and asked what would be their financial responsibilities in respect of the loan funds …
Order! The hon. member must confine himself to the details in the clause. There is no mention of financial responsibility in it. This is my last warning.
I want you to guide me. Am I not entitled to ask the Minister to give me an explanation on the financial aspect?
The hon. member must accept my ruling.
I want to raise another point, but I will speak after the next speaker.
During the course of my second reading speech I touched on this question of the establishment of the type of bodies the Minister envisages and the immediate problems involved, the economic problems.
Order! That is the sort of point the hon. member should raise in the second reading.
I did raise it, but I got no reply and I think I am entitled to a reply.
The hon. member cannot raise it under this clause.
May I just put my point to you and then have your ruling. The point is that the Minister intends to establish local authorities of the type which he will lay down, and this clause covers that. I want to ensure that when he does establish them they will be viable units, and I should imagine that the first requirement is that the economics should be sound.
Order! That has nothing to do with this clause.
The next point I wish to raise is that Clause 3 (a) says that no local authority shall take any decision in respect of anything in regard to which the consultative committee has not been consulted, in terms of any regulation or any direction given by the Administrator. I would like the Minister to tell us at what stage he will publish the regulations and when will the local authorities know on what matter they must consult the Committee? Will this be through the Administrator, or will it be at the sole discretion of the Minister to tell the City Council of Cape Town You shall consult this committee as to whether or not there will be an electricity sub-station built at such a place. The Cape Town Municipality has not been consulted in regard to this Act and they are at a loss to know what their future financial programme is to be. Any big municipality has to make provision in good time for loan expenditure and at this stage, not having been consulted or knowing anything about this Bill, they feel that they cannot make provision for any development in Coloured areas, with the result that certain important matters, improvements, have now to be stopped because they do not know in respect of what matter they will have to consult this consultative committee, because they do not know when the Minister will publish these regulations. I want to make the point that this law will stultify for some time the progress of municipalities in regard to development in Coloured areas, which is greatly needed. I ask the Minister when he intends to publish these regulations; how soon will it be? I have been asked to put that question and I hope the Minister will reply.
One of the very interesting points which arises out of this clause is the sort of local authority within a local authority which the Minister is going to create. He is going to create a local authority for a group area within the larger are of jurisdiction of a municipality. I do not think this can ever work, if this is what the Minister has in mind, for the simple reason that …
Order! The creation of a local authority has been dealt with in the second reading and the hon. member cannot continue with it.
Perhaps I could pin-point it. On page 9, in line 25, it is provided that a local authority may be set up for one or more areas whether they are contiguous or not.
That point has also been dealt with.
The most interesting thing that arises in this regard is that it would appear that the Minister has in mind that in order to provide for the expansion of one of these smaller local authority areas he is entitled to set up within the area of a local authority, like Durban, for example, the only way is by making use of the words in the clause “whether contiguous or not”.
The hon. member is reqeating. That argument has been used repeatedly.
The point I want to make …
Order! The hon. member must not argue with the Chair.
Then I want to deal with another point, and that is in sub-section (5), which has been dealt with extensively. I want to ask the Minister whether he intends to amend this section which he has put in this Bill, because in terms of Section 25bis (5) the Minister now has the power to alter or amend through the State President any law, and “any law” includes an Act of Parliament, and therefore it includes the power to repeal or amend …
That point has been raised frequently.
Then may I ask the Minister what sort of liaison there will be between the small group areas local authorities and the larger local authority which encompasses it. This is a very real problem, with submission, because if you take the local authority and the powers which the Minister could in terms of Clause 28 use to provide a normal thing such as a sewerage …
Order! The hon. member has not put forward a single original argument so far.
He says you are talking nonsense.
Order! I must ask hon. members to take this debate seriously.
I have sat right through the deliberations of this Committee and you have my assurance, Sir, that this is a new point. I draw your attention, Sir, to Section 25 (2). Under 25 (1) the Minister may appoint a consultative or management committee. In sub-section (2) provision is made that any such committee shall consist wholly of members of the group for which such group area has been established. In other words, the Minister indicates in sub-section (2) that the consultative or management committee which he will establish will consist wholly of members of the group for which that group area was established. I want to ask the Minister how does he intend dealing with the establishment of consultative or management committees in an area like Athlone, which has 50,000 residents who are all Coloured? There you have Coloured Christians, Coloured Malays and Cape Indians, who all form part of the non-White population but who for group area purposes fall into different groups. I do not know how the Minister envisages dealing with the establishment of consultative committees in relation to these people. I suggest that this may require some very serious consideration on his part. It may lead to a great deal of difficulty if the Minister were to establish a consultative committee in such a place like Athlone consisting exclusively of Coloured Christians. It may not be acceptable to the Cape Malays, or vice versa. I therefore ask the Minister whether he has considered this matter. I think it may lead to a great deal of trouble if he establishes a committee on the lines envisaged in sub-section (2) and I would like to hear what the Minister’s intentions are. The example of Athlone is not singular. There are many other areas where you have the same situation, where Coloured people of different race groups live together. That question has not been raised and I think it needs a reply.
Mr. Chairman, I raised with the Minister earlier a matter of fundamental importance, the question of its effect on franchise rights in future. It is of the greatest importance. It would appear that the Minister is not in a position to reply. In those circumstances, in order that the Minister may consider the matter, I wish to move—
That the Chairman report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Upon which the Committee divided:
AYES—36: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood. L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
NOES—68: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee. B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Wet, C.: Diederichs, N.; Frank, S.; Froneman. G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.: Heystek, J.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, J. H.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
Motion accordingly negatived.
Upon which the Committee divided.
On a point of order, Sir, when you put the question I heard the hon. member for Drakensberg (Mrs. S. M. van Niekerk) say “Yes”.
Order! Did the hon. member for Drakensberg say “yes”?
I have witnesses that the hon. member for Drakensberg said “yes”.
The Committee divided.
AYES—69: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Frank, S.; Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché
NOES—36: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
Motion accordingly agreed to.
Question put: That all the words after “ specified ” in line 50, page 9, to the end of sub-section (3) of the proposed section 25bis, proposed to be omitted, stand part of the clause.
Upon which the Committee divided:
AYES—69: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Frank, S.; Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
NOES—36: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Hen-wood, B. H.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
Question accordingly affirmed and the first amendment proposed by Mr. Tucker negatived.
Question put: That sub-section (5) of the proposed Section 25bis, proposed to be omitted, stand part of the Clause.
Upon which the Committee devided:
AYES—69: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H.T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Frank, S.; Froneman, G.F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel G. J. Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S.L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G;. van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Nieker, M. C.; van Nierop,, P. J.; van Resnburg, M. C.G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J.H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
NOES—36: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Hen-wood, B. H.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T.G.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
Question accordingly affirmed and the amendment proposed by Mr. Lewis negatived.
Second amendment proposed by Mr. Tucker put and agreed to.
Clause, as amended, put and the Committee divided:
AYES—69: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bezuidenhout, G. P. C.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, H. J.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Cloete, J. H.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; Cruywagen, W. A.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Frank, S.; Froneman, G.F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S.F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jurgens, J.C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel G. J.; Kotzé, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Loots, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Spuy, J. P.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Resnburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Zyl, J. J. B.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
NOES—36: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Cadman, R. M.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T.G.; Lewis, H.; Malan, E. G.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moore, P. A.; Odell, H. G. O.; Oldfield, G. N.; Radford, A.; Raw, W.V.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swart, H. G.; Taurog, L. B.; Thompson, J. O. N.; Timoney, H. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Weiss, U. M.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: H. J. Bronkhorst and N. G. Eaton.
Clause, as amended, accordingly agreed to.
It being 10.44 p.m. the Chairman stated that, in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (4), he would report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.
The House adjourned at