House of Assembly: Vol2 - FRIDAY 25 JANUARY 1985
The Secretary read the following Proclamation of the State President, dated 9 November 1984, summoning Parliament to meet today:
No 203, 1984
By virtue of the power vested in me by section 38 of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983 (Act 110 of 1983), I herewith prorogue Parliament and I declare that the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Republic of South Africa will commence at Cape Town on Friday the twenty-fifth day of January 1985 for the dispatch of business.
Proclamation 170 of 20 September 1984 is hereby repealed.
Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Republic of South Africa at Pretoria this Ninth day of November, One thousand Nine hundred and Eighty-four.
P W BOTHA,
By Order of the State President-in-Cabinet,
H J COETSEE.
stated that he had been requested by Mr Speaker to notify the House that vacancies had occurred in the House of Assembly—
- (a) owing to the resignation with effect from 24 October 1984 of Dr P J Welgemoed, a member elected in terms of section 41(l)(c) of the Constitution of 1983;
- (b) in the representation of the electoral division of Newton Park, owing to the death of Mr W H Delport on 14 October 1984.
announced that the following vacancies in the representation of the House of Assembly had been filled with effect from 29 November 1984:
- (1) George, by the election of Mr H A Smit;
- (2) Parow, by the election of Mr H J Kriel;
- (3) Primrose, by the election of Dr P J Welgemoed.
announced that the casual vacancy in the seat of a member elected to the House of Assembly in terms of section 41(l)(c) of the Constitution of 1983 had been filled by the election of Mr S J Schoeman with effect from 25 January 1985.
Dr the Hon C V van der Merwe, DMS, Mr T Aronson and Mr H J Kriel, introduced by Mr P J Clase and Mr J J Niemann, made and subscribed the oath and took their seats.
Dr P J Welgemoed, Mr H A Smit and Mr S J Schoeman, introduced by Mr N J Pretorius and Mr R P Meyer, made and subscribed the oath and took their seats.
read a Message from the State President calling a joint sitting, as follows:
P W BOTHA,
Proceedings Suspended at 09hl3 and Resumed at 12h00.
informed the House that Mr Speaker had reported to him that he had received a copy of the State President’s Opening Address delivered at the Joint Sitting, which was in the following terms:
On 15 May this year the original part of the Parliamentary buildings will be exactly one hundred years old. And in many ways this building symbolizes the process of development our country has undergone in the constitutional sphere.
During its existence the building has seen drastic changes. It served the Cape Parliament first and then the Union Parliament, and now it is the seat of the Parliament of the Republic. These changes have been associated with changes in our parliamentary structure too. In the process of emancipation from colonialism, representative government developed into responsible government and a crown colony became an independent state and eventually a free republic. Now work is again being done on this building to make provision for a system aimed at accommodating South Africa’s unique circumstances.
For the first time in the history of our country, more communities than before are directly represented in this Parliament and in the Government. This has indisputably broadened the democratic base of our system. It reflects the acceptance that one part of our population cannot on its own pursue our goals for South Africa and cannot on its own protect our common fatherland against those things that threaten it. All the communities, all reasonable South Africans, will have to stand together if we are to lead our country to peace, safety and development.
†The RSA has never been isolated from the outside world. Many of our forebears were brought together here from several continents and our history has been indissolubly linked with the history of the world. South Africa is no island and she wants to take her place in the community of nations and, in particular, on the continent of which she forms a part, while preserving the rich traditions and cultural heritage of all our population groups.
In taking decisions in the interest of our country the Government must have regard to the fact that circumstances and events in the rest of the world have a definite influence on our country and our subcontinent. It is our responsibility to take cognizance of the implications of the views of both friendly and hostile countries, and to take into account the effect of our decisions on the RSA’s foreign relations. Indeed, our goal is to extend these relations; the interests of South Africa demand no less.
But South Africa’s situation between two oceans does not mean that it is a country adrift. Openness to the outside world does not signify a lack of will. Let there be no misunderstanding therefore about this Government’s ability and determination not to let the rest of the world prescribe to it—neither through diplomatic channels, nor through demonstrations, nor through any form of violence.
The Government will not let itself be forced off course by the erratic and irrational behaviour of the United Nations. Instead of contributing to the attempts to destroy civilized standards in South Africa that body would be well-advised to concern itself with the real problems of the world today, such as the East-West conflict, military expansionism and famine.
When we take decisions on co-operation with neighbouring states, on steps to promote the constitutional development of the Black communities and on internal security, everyone must know that we are doing so in the interests of our country and not to please the outside world. But naturally, if what we do is favourably received, this would be to the benefit of our country and its people.
I am therefore asking for the support of this Parliament in dealing with South Africa’s foreign relations in such a way as to safeguard the integrity and security of our country and to give expression to our national goals as set out in the Preamble to our Constitution.
We are committed to co-operative coexistence, and we believe that this ideal can be achieved only if the diversity of our society is recognized and it is accepted that the composition of our country’s population need not be an obstacle in our way. But this is possible only within a system in which there is no domination of one population group over another, which in turn requires self-determination for each group over its own affairs and joint responsibility for and co-operation on common interests. Any further constitutional development will take place in accordance with this guideline.
This does not by any means imply that our strategies and methods will not keep pace with changed circumstances and needs and with the rightful expectations of all groups. What it does mean is that the Government will not deviate from these clear principles.
In accordance with these principles the Government has been engaged for some years now in a programme of fundamental reform in every sphere of life. Reform, and specifically constitutional reform, is a continuing process. There is already considerable cause for thankfulness and pride, but because the process is an evolutionary one its effects, no matter how profound they may be, are not always so dramatically obvious.
*As to South Africa’s position in Southern Africa, inter-state co-operation on matters of common interest has been the principal means of promoting peace and progress on the subcontinent. Considerable headway was made with this during the past year with regard to both the TBVC states and the self-governing and other neighbouring states. The Government will continue to promote opportunities for co-operative co-existence and joint economic progress.
In this process it has begun to become clear that South Africa is being accepted by its neighbours and others as an integral part of Africa and as a reliable and stable partner. This makes the prospects for future relations with the states of Africa promising.
In the constitutional field a new era has dawned in which we have finally broken with the colonialist past that characterized this subcontinent for so many decades and was responsible for so many restrictions on political participation. It was possible for the new constitutional dispensation to begin functioning thanks to the tireless efforts that went into creating the administrations to deal with the own affairs of each of the Houses of Parliament.
As far as the other levels of government are concerned, a new dispensation is already being systematically implemented at the local government level to give all communities a say in decision-making processes that affect them at that level. It has already been decided to involve Black local authorities in the Council for the Coordination of Local Government Affairs and in the Regional Services Councils, whose activities are going to be of great importance in the daily life of every South African.
The unrest in Black urban areas cannot be ignored. It must, however, be emphasized that steps will continue to be taken against those who promote violence and lawlessness. There is clear evidence that the vast majority of the residents of these areas support the Government’s action to maintain order and are themselves beginning to oppose the element of crime and violence that is thwarting efforts to improve the quality of life and participation in political processes.
At the same time the Government acknowledges that there are certain problems that lead to frustration in Black communities. The elimination of these problems is receiving urgent attention so as to create better prospects for all. No responsible South African can lose sight of the fact that in the final instance the security of our country depends on the willingness of all our people, despite the considerable diversity, to accept that we have common interests and goals.
Education is the key to a better life for all. The Government therefore places a high premium on improved provision of education with a view to attaining the ideal of equal educational opportunities for all communities in South Africa. The new central Department of National Education is responsible for a joint general policy and joint standards for the education of all population groups. In the Black communities new structures have been created to bring about better communication between pupils, teachers, parents, community leaders and the educational authorities.
However, improving the quality of life of our people also requires a sound and vigorous economy. Without a strong economy it is impossible to safeguard the security of the state and to bring about the necessary reforms in the political and social spheres.
Despite the relatively high economic growth rate realized last year, there is concern at present, often without cause, about economic conditions and the economic prospects in both the short and the longer term.
†South Africa passed through two economic phases during 1984. Despite the decline in the gold price and the continuing drought the economy expanded considerably during the first half of that year. In fact, this upswing was so vigorous that it led to an excessive increase in total spending and therefore contributed to inflation and temporary balance of payments problems. To correct this the authorities introduced restrictive monetary and other measures, which succeeded in effectively curbing total spending and substantially improving the balance of payments. As part of this process of adjustment the economy entered a temporary downturn in the business cycle during the second half of 1984. But for the year as whole real economic growth took place at the unexpectedly high rate of 4%, as opposed to a negative growth rate of 3% in 1983.
Largely as a result of factors beyond our control, South Africa is at present less well-off in several respects than a year or two ago, particularly in terms of buying power abroad. Every South African is affected by this. This requires certain adjustments from both the public sector and individuals and organizations in the private sector—adjustments aimed at ensuring that we all live within our means. Instead of giving rise to pessimism this should be an incentive to us to make the necessary corrections and take up the challenge. Phases of adjustment in the economy are a normal economic phenomenon and provide the breathing space for foreign reserves to be built up and for the other problems that exert upward pressure on costs and prices to be eased.
The present circumstances provide an ideal opportunity for our export community to exploit the advantages of the low rand/dollar value to the full by operating more aggressively on the export markets so as to gain a larger share of the world market. This will help to reduce underutilized production capacity and so cut the unit cost of production. Not only will this make an important contribution to the fight against inflation but economic activities can also be stimulated considerably and unemployment curbed.
The Government attaches great value to an export-led recovery and therefore wants to encourage the private sector to make use of the large variety of export promotion services offered by the authorities. Initiatives have already been taken in this regard in co-operation with the organisations concerned in the private sector, and more information on this and on ways in which individual companies can make a contribution will be released shortly.
*As to agriculture, I am only too well aware of the continued difficulties with which many members of the farming community have had to cope over the past two to three years—often owing to factors beyond their control and that of the State. These have included the severe drought, particularly in certain summer-rainfall areas, and increased input prices in agriculture resulting from domestic inflation and the effect of a strong dollar on the exchange rate of the rand and other currencies. Good rains have recently brought renewed courage and improved prospects in many areas, but it must be realized that in some areas real recovery will be a long-term process.
Enormous amounts have been spent during the past year in efforts to stabilize agriculture, and further substantial assistance will be required this year. Research is concentrating on the promotion of efficiency in agricultural production, and this includes the drawing up of a national pasture strategy for the optimum utilization of grazing. Agriculture also benefits from programmes introduced with a view to alleviating cyclical unemployment. Some 50 000 unemployed people have already been provided with jobs since 1983, and these programmes will be continued.
In the economic sphere a further improvement in the balance of payments can be expected this year. Unless the US dollar continues to appreciate against other currencies the rand should strengthen in the course of 1985.
In the short term it is likely that the inflation rate will show a further temporary increase and that economic activities in general will continue to slow down. But in due course the beneficial effects of the present strategy will have to make themselves felt fully in a lower inflation rate and higher real economic growth rates. The Government is therefore determined to persist with this strategy, and this approach will find due expression in the Budget to be tabled in March.
The De Kock Commission of Inquiry into Monetary Policy is expected to submit its final report soon, and to the extent that its recommendations prove to be acceptable to the Government, important financial reforms and new banking and building society legislation will be introduced during the current Session of Parliament. Similarly the Margo Commission is at present hard at work on a revision of the tax structure as a whole and is giving attention to those matters requiring early action. The Commission is expected to complete its work during 1986.
It is true that until now the emphasis in the process of adjustment has had to be mainly on monetary policy. However, the Government is determined to apply strict fiscal discipline, as is clear from the recent announcement that, because of the present economic climate, no general salary increases will be granted for the government service in general during the 1985/86 financial year. In addition it has also been decided to bring about a considerable saving on staff expenditure in the public sector, with the emphasis on an improvement in productivity. It would therefore be no more than reasonable to expect employers and employees in the private sector to approach wage and salary negotiations with the utmost responsibility.
But government expenditure cannot simply be cut across the board; priorities have to be determined with due regard to the country’s development needs, its unique socio-political circumstances and the threats to its security. The National Priorities Committee established by law towards the end of the previous parliamentary session and functioning under my chairmanship is giving urgent attention to this. Provisional priority guidelines have already been laid down and these will be further refined in the light of a national economic strategy at present being further developed and extended through the Economic Advisory Council in close cooperation with the private sector. In this process the Government will not hesitate to curtail, terminate or transfer to the private sector certain services that should not be its exclusive responsibility.
It remains the Government’s stated policy to promote private initiative and effective competition. While education and training always play an important role in reducing inequalities between participants in the market, the State still has the important function of intervening, as and when necessary, if the interests of certain groups are harmed by the disruptive actions of others.
†In the constitutional field I want to stress that the Government is resolved to pursue peaceful and democratic solutions that satisfy the requirements of fairness and justice.
- 1. Co-operation with the independent states within the multilateral dispensation will, in line with the current trend, be further extended at a level at which the Governments concerned are given a say regarding actions by the RSA that affect them, and vice versa.
- 2. Independence will remain the goal in the case of all the self-governing national states, but since the Government does not intend forcing this on anyone, there will be increasing co-operation with self-governing national states within collective structures. In the meantime investigations will be conducted and negotiations will be undertaken regarding further stages of autonomy between self-government and full independence.
- 3. The Government accepts the permanence in the RSA in large numbers of members of the Black population communities who find themselves outside the national states. After thorough investigation it is also accepted that not all these peoples can express themselves politically beyond the local level via the government structures of the national states. The intensive promotion of the local government system for Black communities and steps to increase the credibility of existing local authorities are vital. It has therefore been decided to treat such communities, for constitutional purposes, as entities which in their own right, with retention of the principle that no population group should be placed in a position to rule over another, must be given political participation and a say at higher levels. Structures must therefore be developed for Black communities outside the national states through which they can themselves decide on their own affairs up to the highest level. The same bodies can serve, at the various levels, as links for co-operation on matters of common interest with government bodies of the RSA, the independent former national states and the selfgoverning national states.
- 4. To avoid unnecessary fragmentation at the constitutional level the Government has further decided that in the longer term efforts should be made to co-operate on matters of common interest within the same overall framework with the various political entities that find themselves within the South African context.
- 5. The decisions reached regarding the constitutional position of Black communities indicate that clarity must be reached soon on the question of citizenship. The Government confirms that it is its intention to do so. For this reason the Special Cabinet Committee has been directed to submit a report and recommendations, to be based on investigation and negotiation, on the problems of terminology and content that surround the question of citizenship.
Mr Chairman, with your permission, and with a view to encouraging the smooth functioning of the House, I should like to make the following statement on the business of the House:
The Second Reading speech on the Part Appropriation Bill will be delivered on Monday, 11 February.
The Additional Appropriation Bill will come up for discussion on Monday, 25 February.
The Second Reading speech on the Transport Services Appropriation Bill will be delivered on Wednesday, 20 February.
The Second Reading speech on the Post Office Appropriation Bill will be delivered on Monday, 4 March.
The hon the Minister of Finance will deliver his Budget Speech on Monday, 18 March.
The duration of the Easter Recess will be from the conclusion of Committee business on Friday, 29 March, until the House meets again on Tuesday, 9 April.
laid upon the Table:
- (1) Liquor Amendment Bill [No 27—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Trade and Industry).
- (2) Merchant Shipping Amendment Bill [No 29—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Transport Affairs.
- (3) Co-operatives Amendment Bill [No 30—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs).
- (4) Alteration of Provincial Boundaries Bill [No 31—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning).
- (5) South African Police Special Account Bill [No 32—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Finance).
- (6) Natural Scientists’ Amendment Bill [No 33—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning).
- (7) University Staff (Education and Training) Amendment Bill [No 34— 85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Co-operation and Development and Education).
- (8) South African Transport Services Amendment Bill [No 35—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Transport Affairs).
- (9) Post Office Service Amendment Bill [No 36—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Communications and Public Works).
To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committees, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.
laid upon the Table:
Mr Chairman, I move without notice:
It is now nearly 19 years since Willem Delport, together with 48 other Nationalists, joined Parliament. It was the largest NP group ever to have entered, not occupied, the House.
It still stands out in my memory, as clear as daylight, that when Willem Delport stood up there in one of the back benches to begin his speech, he did so like the Springbok rugby team hooker: The ball has been placed, the whistle has blown and we are now kicking off! That was Willem Delport—a fine person, a person who, as far as I am concerned, and as far as I know, did not have any enemies in this House.
Willem Delport was from the Eastern Cape. He was born in Kirkwood. Subsequently he went to Stellenbosch, and after he had obtained his BA, LLB degrees, he established himself, in 1947, as an attorney in Port Elizabeth. During those years—they were troubled years shortly after the war— feelings were running high, as we all know, but Willem Delport was equal to the task and served the cause of the Afrikaner in Port Elizabeth. However, he served the cause of the Afrikaner in such a way as to remained dear to the hearts of those in Port Elizabeth by virtue of not upsetting people’s feelings, but rather uniting them for the benefit of South Africa. Willem Delport was chairman of the school board and was a member of the Council of the University of Port Elizabeth, to the founding of which he made a notable contribution.
It is with regret that we must convey our sympathy to his widow, Cathy, and five children. I think that Willem fulfilled his task, fulfilled it in such a way that as never to have sought the limelight, but rather quietly performing his enormous tasks in a manner necessitating the utmost loyalty. Indeed, in his whole political career, loyalty was Willem Delport’s greatest advantage.
Mr Chairman, on behalf of the hon members on this side of the House I am honoured to associate myself with the words of condolence and also to second the motion. Reference was made to the first time the late member spoke in the House. My thoughts go back to the days when, as a twelve-year old boy, I listened to Paul Bothnia’s radio commentary on the 1952 tour. The particular match took place at Murray-field, and on that occasion our late colleague was still scoring points for the South African team.
Here in the House we got to know him as a hard-working man, someone who performed his task with dedication. We should like to associate ourselves with the words of condolence extended to his next of kin.
Mr Chairman, may I, on behalf of this side of the House, associate myself with the motion moved by the hon the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council, and may I, in addition, extend our sincere sympathy to his family. We on this side of the House pay tribute to the memory of a man such as Willem Delport, who not only excelled on the sportsfield, but was also an excellent parliamentarian in this House, a courteous individual and a worthy opponent.
Mr Chairman, I wish to associate myself and my colleagues with the motion and with the sentiments that have been expressed. As was pointed out by the hon the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council, our late colleague was a man who served his country on the sports field—he wore the green and gold—and who also served his country on the sportsfield—he wore the manded everyone’s respect and which created friendship rather than bitterness among his colleagues.
We associate ourselves with the expression of sympathy with his wife and his family.
Question agreed to unanimously, all the members standing.
Mr Chairman, I move:
The House adjourned at