House of Assembly: Vol2 - TUESDAY 29 JANUARY 1985
Mr Chairman, thank you very much for affording me the opportunity of giving a personal explanation. At the conclusion of my speech yesterday afternoon I quoted what the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning supposedly said on occasion. I then criticized him on that score as well. I assumed in good faith that it was correct. Shortly after that, hon colleagues here next to me focused my attention on the fact that the words I quoted were not the precise words of the hon the Minister. I regret that that happened and I apologize to the hon the Minister. [Interjections.]
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning, relative to the Financial Relations Amendment Bill [No 6—85 (GA)], as follows:
V A VOLKER,
17 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the Second Report of the Standing Select Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning, relative to the Jan Kempdorp Amendment Bill [No 16—85 (GA)], as follows:
V A VOLKER,
17 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the Third Report of the Standing Select Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning, relative to the Provincial Powers Extension Amendment Bill [No 19— 85 (GA)], as follows:
V A VOLKER,
17 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Trade and Industries, relative to the Credit Agreements Amendment Bill [No 11—85 (GA)], as follows:
J H HEYNS,
17 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the Second Report of the Standing Select Committee on Trade and Industries, relative to the Estate Agents Amendment Bill [No 17—85 (GA)], as follows:
J H HEYNS,
17 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs, relative to the Agricultural Pests Amendment Bill [No 12—85 (GA)], as follows:
P B B HUGO,
16 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Mineral and Energy Affairs, relative to the Coal Amendment Bill [No 1—85 (GA)], as follows:
M H VELDMAN,
16 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the Second Report of the Standing Select Committee on Mineral and Energy Affairs, relative to the Nuclear Energy Amendment Bill [No 5—85 (GA)], as follows:
M H VELDMAN,
16 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Justice, relative to the Prisons Amendment Bill [No 15—85 (GA)], as follows:
H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay), Chairman.
22 January 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
Mr Chairman, I have just heard that in Pretoria, for the umpteenth time during the past year, a very substantial rumour is doing the rounds that as from Friday GST will be 15%. This type of thing has only two origins—either a dealer who is desperate to get rid of a few commodities, or the CP. [Interjections.] I can give the assurance that any similarity between the CP and a badly managed business undertaking is purely coincidental. [Interjections.]
And your connection with Boupen?
Oh, leave Boupen alone! Boupen is a company which is making a profit today after it had for a time been placed under temporary, voluntary judicial management.
And after you had left.
There is no form of judicial management that will help the CP out of its insolvency. [Interjections.] I want to ask hon members to leave a businessman who is worth his salt and who pays his taxes, the owner of that business undertaking, alone across the floor of this House. He does not deserve it. He is an honest man who has followed an honest course in his business activities. I think we should now leave that type of politics alone, and the hon member for Brakpan may as well begin to set the example. [Interjections.]
†I think all of us on this side of the House found it most surprising yesterday that the speech of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition was dominated by economic affairs. In fact, we recognize a large number of quotations from recent statements and writings of the hon member for Yeoville. I must say that the speech of the hon the Leader of the official Opposition in its economic sense unfortunately lacked the usual dramatic 5, 12 or 14 point plan of the hon member for Yeoville, but I certainly trust that we shall still have the benefit of the usual contribution of the hon member for Yeoville in this regard. Time permitting, I wish to return to the hon the Leader of the Opposition at a later stage in my speech because I want to deal firstly with some urgent matters.
*During the 1984 financial year the South African economy under extremely difficult circumstances, has nevertheless performed exceptionally well in terms of real growth-rate. I do not think we need debate the merits of that kind of growth, but at least it meant that the real average income of a worker rose by 3,9% in real terms during the first three quarters of last year.
We have heard from the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and also from the hon member for Pietersburg that we must stop referring to the problems we are experiencing with gold and the drought, as well as to certain other matters. Surely it is a fact that gold sales traditionally account for half of South Africa’s foreign exchange, and if we do not receive this income, it simply means that we have fewer reserves, and if we have fewer reserves and we are an importing country—more than 80% of our machinery still has to be bought overseas and paid for in foreign currency—then surely it is only logical that if the gold price drops in terms of dollars and the supply of dollars which is available in South Africa for importers also declines, our currency is going to be subjected to pressure.
It would be of no avail for hon members to say further in this debate that we should remove gold from the picture, because the Government is supposedly so terribly inept in any case and that gold allegedly camouflaged this in the past. It is simply not a factual truth that gold does not play a decisive role in our present economic problems. That is a misconception of the economy, and as usual the hon member for Lichtenburg is agreeing with a stupid argument.
Now you are being arrogant.
It is not arrogant to deal with the facts. It remains an irrefutable fact that if the agricultural conditions in South Africa are such that we have had crop failures for three years in succession, South Africa is poorer than before; that we as a country are also poorer owing to the fact that our gold does not have the dollar value which it had before; that South Africa is also poorer because we did not, as we did before, have maize to export, in fact we had to import maize and had to spend foreign exchange on it. Furthermore, we had to deal with an extraordinary revival in the American and other economies which was led by growth in high technology and services and which did not, as previously in an early stage, produce a demand for our raw materials. In fact, we experienced a failure as far as our raw materials were concerned too.
Under such circumstances one’s country is poorer and no one, inside or outside this House, can do anything about those three matters I have just mentioned. No one can push up the gold price in terms of dollars, no one can make it rain to give us a harvest and no one can cause the demand for our minerals to increase during an economic revival in another country which does not want those minerals at that moment. Fortunately the demand for our raw materials has increased in the meantime. These things hit us incredibly hard. That is the truth, and we must examine the effect.
In the meantime consumer and Government spending in South Africa increased to an unusual extent. The result was that the deficit on our current account in September 1984 was already as high as R2,4 billion.
The simple truth is that if one has a revival in South Africa and one does not have a balance of payments to support it, then it is like the plant which grew in a small amount of good soil, but which died immediately when its roots encountered rock. One cannot support a prolonged revival in South Africa without a sound balance of payments. That is quite simply impossible.
Now it is necessary for us to consider a few figures. Real private consumer spending showed a sustained acceleration from the second quarter of 1983 and during the second quarter of 1984 it reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 10%, which was very high. At the end of July 1984, shortly before we introduced the strict monetary measures, hire purchase credit and leasing financing was 38% above the level reached in July 1983, the previous year, while all loans and advances, including overdrawn loans, had risen by no less than 43% over the same period. Furthermore, the upward tendency in real Government spending, which also commenced during the second quarter of 1983, continued. In the first half of 1984 the total, real Government and consumer spending was 14,5% higher than during the first half of 1983. In addition the money supply had increased considerably. I could furnish the figures now, but they are less relevant at this moment, and we can discuss them further during the Budget.
These trends in the economy, which at that stage were undoubtedly identified as being undesirable, had to be curtailed in terms of the Government’s general policy of restrictive monetary and fiscal measures. It is quite simply a fact that if, among other things, one budgets for a normal financial year—I do not now wish to discuss the other similar assumptions; there will be time for that in the Budget—and one then has to spend hundreds of millions of rands in drought aid and other measures, then it is a fact that this has a stimulatory effect on the economy, which it should not otherwise have had. The result is that the weight of the policy package began to lean to an increasing extent on the monetary leg of the policy.
The Government’s financial strategy, which is still being applied and which has not been abandoned, consists of four stages. I sometimes get the impression that since we now have an economic situation in South Africa which is far more market-orientated, it is very much like a husband’s relationship with his wife. One must tell her every day that one loves her. It seems to me we shall have to comment on the state of affairs every day or every week or every X number of days, otherwise people will lose confidence in the functioning of these mechanisms.
The first stage of our policy package was therefore to curb spending. The real gross domestic spending which, in the first quarter of last year had still been increasing at an annual rate of 14%, had begun to decrease towards the end of the third quarter by an annual rate of 5,5%. The component of private consumer spending diminished during the third quarter of last year at an annual rate of approximately 20%. That is precisely what we wanted and that is what we got.
Various misinterpretations in regard to the money supply began to arise. The key to the misunderstanding in regard to the interpretation of the role of the money supply is that it is not only the money supply as such which plays a role, but that the circulation velocity of the money supply is also involved. After all, it is frequently said: “Money is the game but spending is what matters.”
In 1980 the circulation velocity of money was ten times per annum. It decreased to 5,7 during the first quarter of last year, and after our restrictive measures it dropped to less than five times per annum. I concede that the money supply, measured in volume as such, is still not under control as it should be, but if one wants a balanced view on money supply and wants to adopt a well-balanced, authoritative standpoint on the issue, one must also take its circulation velocity into consideration, otherwise one is quite simply not correct in one’s deductions.
The second stage of our strategy was to restore order to the balance of payments, and specifically to consider our reserves position. In the economy we are dealing with perceptions, and at present many perceptions exist on various aspects of the economy. For example a market functions to a large extent on perceptions, but if one wishes to debate these economic phenomena, one should concentrate on the facts. The fact of the matter is that, in regard to our balance of payments, we had already begun to achieve a positive result during the fourth quarter of last year. Consequently the measures we adopted had already begun to have the desirable effect on the balance of payments a good deal earlier than we had expected, and at the end of last year we in fact had a surplus of R250 million. If one converts this into an annual rate and effects a seasonal adjustment then that figure is at present standing at an annual figure of R700 million. Our goal is to come as close as possible this year to a surplus of R2 billion on the current account of our balance of payments. What is more, this situation in regard to our balance of payments was achieved in spite of a low gold price and a drought which caused constant tension in the economy.
The third objective of our measures was to reduce the inflation rate. But how many times have we not stated in public already that the inflation rate must inevitably rise before it will begin to level off? Why must the inflation rate first rise? After all, one cannot simply reverse the inflation rate. Since September 1983 there has been a depreciation of the rand. This means that imports are more expensive because one has to pay more rands for imported commodities. Those costs have to be recovered somewhere, and the way in which they can be recovered is to recover them from the consumer. In other words, there is a price increasing effect which takes months to work through the economy if one is dealing with a depreciating currency. That is why we pointed out that the inflation rate would first have to rise before it began to fall.
It seems to me there is a psychosis in South Africa that the value of the rand has quite suddenly fallen by more than 50% in aggregate. That is true, but this substantial fall in the value of the rand has only taken place against the dollar. After all we do not pay with dollars when we go shopping for cooldrinks, bread or groceries. To establish what happened to the rand, one must look at the consumer index, and in that respect the decrease is approximately 13,3% over that of last year. The decrease in the value of the rand is therefore a fact, but it is definitely not true—as many people fear—that our entire currency has finally gone for a loop.
If we were to make a calculation today of the influence which the drop in the value of the rand since September 1983 has had on our inflation rate, I think we should point out to one another that if we were to deduct it from our inflation rate, the remainder of our measures have at least achieved a reasonable measure of success. As far as the rest of the inflation rate is concerned we therefore did not deviate much from the 10% at which it stood a short while ago. This process of the working through of forces in the inflation rate is not over yet, however, and as time passes we shall have to watch the position carefully.
Furthermore I want to emphasize that if one curbs spending, sales diminish and everyone who sells gets hurt. This is unfortunately the truth. There cannot be a curb on spending without the seller or manufacturer complaining about it. People who are in a fix because of this have our deepest sympathy and one must try to accommodate them to a limited extent.
The fourth stage is to have a proper balance of payments position so that healthy growth can take place when there is a downward trend in the inflation rate. However, we must be prepared at the right time and in the right way for growth. It would be simply nonsensical to unleash forces in the economy simply in order to initiate artificial growth. That would not work and we should not do that to posterity. Instead we should all bite the bullet and gulp down this medicine.
With regard to the depreciation of the rand, as I have told hon members, it is quite logical that besides the fact that pressure is being exerted on the rand because of specific perceptions, there are in fact also market forces and other underlying reasons why our rand has depreciated more than the German mark and the pound. The reason for this is that our inflation rate is so much higher than theirs. There is no logical, measurable reason, arithmetical or economical, why the dollar should be as strong as it is today, or the rand so weak in relation to the dollar as it has been. There are a number of other factors which play a role but as far as the relative computation of the value of the rand in relation to other monetary units is concerned, I should at least like to refer to a few things. Germany has an inflation rate of 2% and no balance of payments problems, they have not had a drought and there has been no drastic decline in the value of their major export commodity. There is no obvious reason why the value of the German mark should have declined so drastically against the dollar. That is why, to the extent in which the value of our monetary unit has slumped along with theirs, we have no alternative but to ascribe it to the dollar s unusual performance. However, since the value of the rand has declined far more, the reasons and the blame for this must be sought in South Africa itself, in our internal economy. It certainly has something to do with our inflation rate and the balance of payment problem we experienced but it also has something to do with the fact that we are a poorer country today than what we were three years ago. Once we experience a good agricultural year and if the gold price does not fall further than the point at which it is now fixed and when we put our economic house in order, we shall then have every reason to expect that we can rectify this unnecessary decline in the value of the rand. I should therefore like to emphasize the three major causes of the depreciation of the rand. They are the increase in the value of the US dollar, the dollar price of gold that has dropped to such a low level and in the third place, our high inflation rate.
Our balance of payments has also come under pressure as a result of the “leads and lags”. I said just now that in December we closed with a positive balance on the current account of R250 million. Furthermore longterm capital with a nett value of R300 million flowed into the country. This means that we should have shown a positive balance of R500 million in the aggregate. In the meantime, however, our nett reserves decreased by R500 million. In other words, somewhere there is R1 050 million that we have to find and there can only be one logical explanation, namely that it was caused by “leads and lags”. I do not want to debate this any longer. I am of the opinion that the hon member for Yeoville who understands these things will be able to reply to them, but I do not understand the other sounds I have heard here. We shall just have to leave it at that.
—With regard to bank credit there is more good news I should like to convey to the hon members of the House. In December the bank credit was no higher than in November and that is what we wanted. We are coming to grips with credit. What is the effect of this? The effect of this is that the pressure on interest rates will drop if the demand for bank credit is kept in check. Then interest rates will begin to fall. That is why we say that the sooner the results of our policy start to filter through, the sooner we will be in a position to decrease interest rates. However, the hon Leader of the Official Opposition said that the interest rates were adjusted in November last year with a view to the Primrose by-election. I wonder if he realizes what the managing directors of Barclays and Standard Bank think of the Official Opposition regarding them as lackeys in the hands of the NP. He will just have to sort out the matter with them, because neither the Government nor the Reserve Bank had anything to do with it. The hon members will also remember that the Reserve Bank’s discount rates were adjusted after the banks had made their downward adjustments. That was done prematurely, but after that they adjusted their rates upwards and the Reserve Bank followed suit.
The time has now come for us to reconsider our existing policy package with a view to determining whether we should not make a few adjustments. In connection with this there are a few matters which I should like to bring to the attention of the House. I shall only do so briefly, because the Reserve Bank will issue full statements in this regard.
From today, when banks create credit, they will no longer be accommodated via the discount houses. Banks that infringe the regulations and exceed their limits will in future have to be accommodated directly by the Reserve Bank so that we can see who they are and can penalize them with higher interest rates. This is the crux of this particular matter.
Secondly, there is the aspect of Reserve Bank activity on the foreign exchange market. In the past it operated as follows: When an importer wanted to import goods he arranged with his bank, for example, to obtain a certain amount of dollars from the bank over a period of three months. What is now going to happen is that instead of making an arrangement with the bank, which immediately places pressure on the market once the order has been placed, the Reserve Bank will now undertake to deliver the foreign exchange to the importer over the agreed number of months and when the payment has to take place at the price he was able to negotiate on the day of his order.
The third aspect deals with the dollars which gold mines earn daily through their gold sales. Until now their earnings were paid out to them in dollars and according to Reserve Bank regulations they had to sell those dollars back to the Reserve Bank within seven days. Today I should like to state across the floor of this House and for the edification of my colleague, the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, that we in the Treasury have no reason to think that the gold mines of South Africa have been abusing this privilege during this time of foreign exchange problems. This is not the case at all. We have no reason to think that they have been speculating with those dollars or doing anything disadvantageous with them. Nevertheless, it has been agreed that in future only half of their daily earnings will be paid out in dollars and the other half in rands. This will not make any difference to the nett amount of dollars coming into the country, but it will give the Reserve Bank slightly more control over the flow of dollars, thus enabling a smoother administration of the foreign exchange market.
A further aspect deals with exporters. Recently it became obvious that exporters were no longer adhering to the seven day provision in regard to the resale of foreign currency. An investigation clearly demonstrated this. Secondly, they found no difficulty in extending the normal credit period of three months to even six months or more, and received extensions with the greatest of ease. This resulted in leads and lags applying tremendous pressure on the supply of dollars, which in turn exerted pressure on our currency. What is going to happen now is that exporters will have to adhere strictly to the seven day period for the repayment of their foreign exchange; and secondly, credit will be extended beyond the normal period only in exceptional cases.
What is the normal period, 3 months or 6 months?
It is now 3 months. In the nature of things one cannot say what the minimum or the maximum will be because that would depend on the terms of the agreement. To negotiate an order at all, credit may sometimes have to be extended for a period of 12 months. However, requests will be considered on an individual basis. The fact remains that the tendency to postpone is now going to be curtailed.
There is another aspect in regard to imports which has to be broached. There is a chorus of voices calling for us to clamp down on imports. It is being said that we should control imports and import permits on a much wider scale. As far as we can judge and as matters stand at present, imports are in any case being reduced drastically. If all these measures which we have taken to protect our foreign exchange, do not have the necessary effect, then I want to put it to you that we shall certainly not hesitate to introduce an import deposit scheme so that all who wish to import will have to deposit 100% of the amount on the day that the import order is placed. However, this is a fairly drastic measure and we do not want to attempt on “overkill”; we shall see whether these other measures work. If they do not, we shall have no option but to introduce an import deposit scheme.
This brings me to another matter. In the aftermath of last year’s spending spree we received many complaints that people were trying to evade the hire purchase regulations, on which my colleague had clamped down, by means of credit cards and other forms of bank credit. I asked the Registrar of Financial Institutions to investigate this matter last year. Eventually this matter ended up in the hands of the chairman of the technical committee on banks and building societies. I asked him first of all to investigate the manner in which banks made credit cards available to the public and to examine the effect of their use on private consumer spending as well as the granting of credit by banks. Thirdly, he had to investigate the desirability or otherwise, of subjecting the use of credit cards to certain credit control measures. This is also a direct intervention which one would like to avoid, but we are in the process of examining the matter to see whether malpractices have not taken place in this way.
The other leg of our policy is fiscal policy. The only thing I cay say about it is this: This Government is going to do its utmost to keep within the rules of sound budgeting. The following rules are applicable here. We have exceptional circumstances in our country and there are also exceptional circumstances which are influencing our economy, but the practice up to now of financing current expenditure with loans has been unsound. It is not a healthy situation for the deficit before loans to exceed 3% of the GDP of that year and these, amongst others, are two of the arrangements which we shall have to introduce drastically into the budget.
If I have another minute or two, I should like to say the following in connection with the hon Leader of the Official Opposition’s story about fringe benefits: If it were possible for me or for this Government to rid ourselves of this issue of fringe benefits, we would do so gladly, because we know that it is untimely and that there really will never be an opportune time for it. However, the truth of the matter is that over the years tremendous abused occurred which brought about a distortion in the market which made it fiscally impossible—since work started on it five years ago—to avoid. This country would not be able to afford the cost of neglecting to implement this. Nothing will remain of our tax base as far as income tax is concerned. This would place the Minister of Finance in the position of a marketing manager, who does business by selling to people who help themselves to whatever discount they prefer. This is what fringe benefits boil down to when they are uncontrolled, as they were in the process of becoming. If it is unavoidable then—as is in fact the case, because we cannot afford to turn back the clock—we are determined to achieve this in the way which will not harm any individual, household or business. This is the spirit in which this side of the House will be dealing with the unavoidable and extremely thorny issue which, over a period of many years, has become a problem in the South African economy.
Mr Chairman, we have witnessed a remarkable transformation this afternoon while listening to the speech of the hon the Minister of Finance. What we have seen is the transformation of a freemarketeer into a man who is now in favour of rigid control.
That is ridiculous.
No, it is not, it is exactly what has happened. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Finance used to be one of the greatest proponents of free marketing, but not any more. We can no longer expect to hear from him about the operation of a free market. I want to tell the hon Minister that I believe he completely misunderstood the theme of the hon the Leader of the Opposition’s speech. The theme of that speech was not that one could not in any way use gold, the devaluation of the Rand and the drought as reasons for our economic misery today, but that one could not just blame those factors and hope to get away with it. That was the point he was making. He was further making the point that it is the Government’s policies, its incompetence, its wastefulness, and most of all its racial policies which have undermined confidence both inside the country and abroad, that have largely been responsible for the economic problems of South Africa. That is the point he was making.
I listened to a speech made by the hon the Minister of Finance shortly after he was elevated to that position. I must say I was quite sorry for him because no Minister of Finance could have taken over at a worse time—I have to give him that—but when I heard him say that South Africa was going to have to take the same harsh measures to control the economy and inflation that had been taken by the Reagan Government in the United States and by Mrs Thatcher in the UK, and when he said that this was the only way in which to bring down inflation and he was very sorry but it was certainly going to increase unemployment, I just wondered why he did not go on to say “and, of course, we will also, as has been done in the United States and in the UK, see that there is adequate social security to cover the people who are now unemployed”. The United States and the UK have the blanket of social security which, of course, cushions the effect of unemployment. We do not have that. We have minimal social security in this country. I want to remind the hon the Minister of the wise words that were uttered by a well-known businessman not too long ago, namely “If they do not eat, we do not sleep”. The hon the Minister ought to remember that.
I want to come to the State President’s speech and I want to say that, like everybody else in the House, I listened very attentively to what he had to say. Like many others, including the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, I welcomed the fact that his speech certainly demonstrated greater flexibility, let us say, in the Government’s attitude to some of the major racial problems facing South Africa. I also want to say, however, that, unlike others, I am not about to go overboard about this speech. I do not believe that it heralds a great new era of redress and reform. I wish it did.
The reason why I am not as enthusiastic as some others is that, firstly, there is very considerable ambiguity in that speech. The hon the State President, for instance, in speaking of one of the major causes of racial friction in this country, namely that the Government would remove influx control, stated—and I quote him—“the negative and discriminatory aspects of influx control”. Influx control has only negative and discriminatory aspects. Influx control, therefore, has to go in its entirety. There can be nothing positive about preventing a Black from seeking a livelihood in the market that will pay him best for his labour, there can be nothing positive about denying him the right to live with his family during his working life, and influx control is also discriminatory because it applies only to Black people and not to White people, Coloured people, and Indian people except as far as movement of Indians into the Free State and Northern Natal is concerned. Therefore we say influx control must go, and not just some aspects of it.
Let us take another burning problem, namely resettlement and forced removals. In this connection the hon the State President said that problems of resettlement would be given attention and resolved to the greater satisfaction of those concerned. Well, the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development, in his speech yesterday and in an interview published in the latest issue of the Sunday Express, was in fact a little more forthcoming on removals. He said that only those that were absolutely necessary would be proceeded with. I want the hon Minister to give this House, the country and the outside world for that matter—we all know that this has become a burning issue abroad—a categorical assurance that the people of Matopistad are not going to be removed. There is no hygienic reason, there is no infrastructural reason and there is no reason whatever why that peaceful rural community should be removed to a stony hillside near Sun City in Bophuthatswana. I ask for that categorical assurance from some Minister or other before this debate is over. Then there is KaNgwane, which is also a very important issue. The people concerned could be moved to higher ground, because there is plenty of ground available, dam or no dam. The hon the Minister told the Sunday Express that he was very, very—he used two “very’s”—critical about the policy of removing settled townships into the homelands, those in urban areas. Will he give us a categorical assurance, for instance, that the people of Hukudè are not going to be moved, nor the people of Valspan? I just mention these two examples, because I think it would be very valuable to have an assurance from somebody on the other side in that connection.
Apart from the ambiguity I referred to, I cannot but recall all the disappointments of the past of promises, made abroad and broken at home, by the former hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development, by the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and by other members of the Government. Nor can I forget the dashed expectations of all the starry-eyed businessmen who emerged from the Carlton and Good Hope Conferences. I must say that, moving in some of those circles today, one does not hear quite such ecstatic remarks from those businessmen about our competent Government any more!
A third reason why I am not as optimistic, perhaps, as some people, is that I know that every time there is a by-election in which the CP looks like gaining a seat, the Government gets the “skriks”. It falls back off its enlightened platform and retreats into the laager, white-faced, pale and trembling. Therefore I have doubts as to whether this policy will continue at a smooth and even pace and whether we can look forward to very, very important changes. I hope, however, that I am wrong, because I want to warn the Government that a far more potent and imminent threat than the CP is facing South Africa. I can assure them of that. I refer, of course, to the punitive action presently threatening South Africa from abroad and which has now reached the proportions of a tidal wave in the United States. I can tell this House that the State President’s speech per se will do nothing to stem that tidal wave, despite even the US Government’s reaction to the State President’s speech. Year after year since 1978, I have warned the Government about this. In no-confidence and in budget debates I have told the Government that unless positive steps were taken to remove discrimination from the Statute Book, or unless at least the Government desisted from some of the more repulsive aspects of its racial policy such as forced removals and, of course, detention without trial, South Africa was going to be subjected to punitive action from the rest of the world, and especially from the United States, which has huge investments in this country. Only the hon member for Simonstown, now the Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism—I am sorry he is not here now—paid any attention from the Government benches and he said in 1978 that I knew what I was talking about and that members ignore mounting pressures at their peril. I want to tell this House that the peril is now at our door. There is a veritable flood of legislation in preparation in the United States on divestment and against economic relations with or in South Africa. One has already been tabled. It is entitled “The South African Human Rights Bill” and it re-enacts all the measures that were already passed last year by the House of Representatives in the US. A number of city governments have also passed resolutions about their pension funds being removed from any company which has investments in or economic relations with South Africa. The number of such resolutions has doubled in recent times. Parallel resolutions are being passed in a number of states. I take as an example the pension funds of New York City where an amount of $665 million is going to be withdrawn from companies doing business with South Africa. Even if some of these Bills and resolutions are dropped, I believe we can say goodbye to new US investment in South Africa because the “hassle factor” is enough to deter any aspirant investor. I believe it would be the epitome of self-deception to think that the State President’s speech on Friday is going to halt a campaign which has already gained such momentum. There is a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, and at least 35 influential Republicans have already signed a declaration stating that they do not believe that constructive engagement is working. [Interjections.] The United States which is our biggest trading partner is not the only country where such a campaign is being waged. That campaign is also being waged in Britain, which has £5 000 million invested in South Africa and is our second biggest trading partner. Similar campaigns are also being waged in Europe.
There are also other punitive measures that are presently being considered. One which is under serious consideration and which will have severe effects on South Africa is the denial of landing rights and air space to SA Airways. I trust hon members will take note of this. That is seriously being considered. We are only protected at the moment by Article 5 of the Chicago Convention which established the International Civil Aviation Organization. Article 5 lays down that there shall be a right of innocent passage by non-military aircraft through the airspace of member states belonging to ICAO. That can be changed by a resolution with a two-thirds majority of the members of ICAO. Moreover, the African bloc is growing in numbers all the time. We face a very real threat in communications.
Constructive engagement is under attack, especially because a settlement has not been reached in Namibia and, as we know, the Nkomati Accord is now under suspicion.
Last year the scene which was supposed to herald the new era was in fact dominated by ugly riots and school boycotts and the actions of the hon the Minister of Law and Order. I hope I have his attention since he has kindly stayed in the House. It is my opinion that the hon the Minister of Law and Order ought to be legally restrained. [Interjections.] There is no doubt that he has added to the disastrous impression gained by the outside world. Instead of attempting to defuse the situation the hon the Minister was at his busiest in regard to the number of detentions under Sections 28 and 29 which soared to a new high in the months of September, October and November of 1984, the very months in which the United States Congress was considering punitive measures. Some 221 people were detained during this period, consisting of students, community workers and UDF members. Leading trade unionists such as Camay and Dhlamini were detained despite protests from commerce and industry that that was interfering with industrial labour relations. Not only was it made clear to the world that South Africa had no intention of returning to due process, of abandoning detention without trial, but police activity in the Black townships escalated, backed up by troops. Over 150 people, including school-children, died in riots in the Vaal triangle. A report published by the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference on police conduct in the Reef townships during August to November 1984 makes most horrifying reading. It states that the overwhelming impression created by the affidavits collected by the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference was that “the police behaviour in the townships resembled that of an occupying foreign army controlling enemy territory by force without regard to the civilian population and, it appears, without regard for the law”.
The report also describes the indiscriminate use of firearms, including the use of rubber bullets and birdshot, the reckless use of teargas, and wanton violence by police. Pictures of riot-torn areas were sent all over the world—I must say, a fine beginning to the era of reform! While I am on the subject of police action—I hope the hon the Minister will stop smirking and that he will take a little notice of my suggestion [Interjections.] … I cannot see anything to smirk about looking at the CP. My suggestion is that police action should be the subject of an objective inquiry, and I want to ask the hon the Minister what he intends doing about the allegations of the disgraceful intrusion into privacy by the Security Police, the “dirty tricks” revealed by The Star newspaper regarding Dr Boesak. I want the hon the Minister to appoint a judicial inquiry into this unsavoury matter, and if he will not do so, I want to know why. I believe that denials by the police are not sufficient. I believe that referral to the Media Council does not meet the case. The Star says it has concrete evidence of the involvement of the Security Police. If this is so, it should be asked to produce such concrete evidence before a judicial commission of inquiry, and the Government must be called upon to refute it if it can. I believe that the use of State machinery to smear political opponents simply cannot be tolerated. [Interjections.] Only a judicial inquiry will clear that up.
There are lots of other things which should be inquired about, for example, the phone tapping which is alleged to have taken place in the case of Brigadier Blaau, Mr Whelpton, ex-private secretary of ex-Minister Fanie Botha, and ex-Police Captain Dirk Coetzee. I think we need to know more about this murky business as well. I might add that the hon the Minister and his department are apparently not only involved in “dirty tricks” but that they are also singularly inept. I mention as an example the sending of a top secret directive to the Postmaster-General in Windhoek asking the Post Office to intercept all mail to or from BBC’s Namibia correspondent, Miss Gwen Lister, and then sending the directive to the lady herself instead of the Postmaster-General! [Interjections.] Just to add to the publicity surrounding all this, the police promptly put her in jail for the weekend and charged her under the Official Secrets Act and under the Post Office Act for opening a document that was marked “Confidential” and that was not addressed to her. I ask you! What a department! [Interjections.]
I think I have said enough to illustrate in many ways why I am not in a state of euphoria over the State President’s speech, although I can see at once that there is apparently a more flexible approach. However, I do want to point out that nebulous incremental change will not save South Africa from isolation or improve race relations inside our country. What I do think would be effective is a clear, unambiguous statement from the Government that it will abandon all plans for forced removals, that it will remove influx control and that it will return to due process, a very important thing that was not mentioned at all by the State President in his speech. Detention without trial is one of the things that set us aside from the Western community of nations. I believe that this Government should state that it intends to return to due process and release all detainees held without trial, and that it will revoke all banning orders.
If the Government really wants to take a dramatic step which will improve South Africa’s position both internally and externally, it should announce its intention to free Nelson Mandela and others like Goldberg and Mbeki who have spent over 20 years in jail. That is retribution enough by any civilized standards. I wonder if the Government is aware that when Lord Bethell visited Mandela about 10 days ago, Mandela told Lord Bethell that if the Government would unban the African National Congress, the African National Congress would be prepared to call a truce and enter into negotiations. [Interjections.] I think South Africa should be aware of this important statement. This ongoing war, this Namibian situation is all due to the fact that no negotiations have been entered into or are contemplated between the Government and the ANC. What I suggest is just for starters in order to stem the tidal wave that will tip this country over into bankruptcy if it takes place, namely the campaign for divestment or disinvestment.
I want to conclude by saying that the Government must act with all deliberate speed in dismantling apartheid and moving towards a system of government based on the consent of all South Africans irrespective of race. That is the policy we on these benches advocate, not because of overseas pressure, but because we believe it to be morally right, politically tenable and economically sound.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Houghton touched on a variety of topics regarding which she will undoubtedly receive thorough replies.
She began by saying, inter alia, that the Government ought to provide for better security with regard to social welfare structures in the country. The hon member for Houghton should bear in mind that this calls for Government expenditure. During the previous financial year, R49 million was spent on care outside the family context. In saying this I wish to emphasize the fact that this Government does indeed ensure that our people receive social welfare care.
Furthermore, I can tell the hon member for Houghton that what was presented in the State President’s address, was in fact proof of the activities, deliberations and the results of the Cabinet Committee responsible for this.
The hon member also spoke about the “tidal wave” which was building up against the Republic. The Government itself is concerned about this, but what the Government is also concerned about is domestic organizations that associate themselves with this concept abroad. I shall also express my concern to those hon members as a party in a moment. [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bryanston reminds me of something I may not mention here. [Interjections.]
Yesterday the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition referred here to certain activities of the Defence Force and in particular to members of the Defence Force being deployed on occasion to support the police force in, inter alia, Sebokeng and other Black areas during the unrest. The hon member for Houghton also dealt with this by referring to the injuries and loss of life suffered there.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has the ability to deliver his speeches with a semblance of finesse—which we greatly appreciate. But we must consider the implications of his words. He criticized the actions of the Defence Force but he also admitted that provision was made for those activities in the Defence Act. I am referring to section 3 of that Act.
I understand the problems the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition experienced abroad, but I do not understand that naivety he displayed. I want to ask the hon the Leader whether, after he had been invited to participate in that discussion programme, he approached either the hon the Minister of Defence or the hon the Minister of Law and Order for information. [Interjections.] Did the hon the Leader of the Opposition consult either the Chief of the Defence Force or the Chief of the Police Force? [Interjections.] Did he do this to obtain information? I am asking this because in his speech the hon the Leader said that he could not find anything to say. I am asking this because the Defence Force was courteous enough to invite the chief spokesman of the various study groups to attend one such a deployment of troops. Hon members of the PFP were also present there, inter alia, the hon member for Wynberg and the hon member for Bezuidenhout. They also voiced their comments. Those hon members saw what actions were taken there, that for the first time the member of the Defence Force in his uniform gave the local inhabitants the impression that he was a friend of that community. We saw those people’s smiles. We observed the gratitude of the inhabitants and of their leaders; gratitude that there is peace and quiet so that their children could go to school in safety.
Certain pamphlets were distributed there. I am holding one of them in my hand. Stickers were also distributed. The pamphlets were printed in several languages. There are small sketches on this specific pamphlet. Mr Chairman, please allow me to quote a few of the things printed in this pamphlet. In it we read, inter alia, the following: “What are we doing here?” This is the question those members of the Defence Force put to the members of the community. Then they replied as follows: “We are here to promote normal social life, continued education, safe travel, stability, a healthy community and to deliver goods, food, etc”. These are pamphlets that have been distributed and that the people there understand and appreciate.
I now ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition whether he took the trouble to meet the liaison officers available to us in the respective portfolios. I am thinking, for example, of General Gleeson, who is a reliable and honest officer. Did the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition consult him to obtain information so that he could address the Press or the media on this matter? If he were a patriot, someone who wanted to convey the fundamental message of his country, he would have done so.
On the occasion of that visit we learned of the appreciation of the Black leaders for the actions of the Defence Force; not for the military actions of the Defence Force, but for the protection the Defence Force affords in the service of our community.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has now become his party’s chief spokesman on Defence. We want to congratulate him on that. We also welcome him as his party’s chief spokesman on Defence. He is most welcome. In our discussions in future we shall still say a great deal to each other. I must say the dissension in his party is really very obvious. He said in connection with the Government: “They ran out of steam and out of money”.
†My contention is that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is running out of party members. [Interjections.]
*The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition said he was opposed to the policy of national service. Of course that is his prerogative. [Interjections.] In fact the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition was courteous enough to accept the invitation addressed to him by the Defence Force to give evidence before the commission, led by General Geldenhuys. This he in fact did. That is quite correct. The system he would like to propose, he put forward there. But now I want to put the following question to him. Does he agree that that commission of General Geldenhuys has the expertise to try to ascertain whether or not his plan can work? Is he satisfied with the expertise of that commission before which he gave evidence?
Supposing that commission rejects his plan, what is he going to do then? Is he going to resign himself to such a decision and reconcile himself to the operations, the system or the plan that commission is going to present to the hon the Minister of Defence?
Usually you only reject our plans temporarily. A few years later you accept them bag and baggage. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I am not putting my questions to the hon member for Bryanston, but to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. Is he going to support loyally the plan that that commission is going to put to us? The hon the Minister did not shoot down his proposed system. He was able to submit it to an expert commission. Consequently I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition what he is going to do if that commission decides against his plan. [Interjections.] I also want to ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition why he deprived the hon member for Wynberg of the right, or rather the privilege, of acting as the chief spokesman on Defence Force matters in his party. Why did he deprive the hon member of that opportunity? I want to tell you categorically that the hon member for Durban Point, other hon members of this House and I spent many hours with the hon member for Wynberg and the hon member for Bezuidenhout making an in-depth study of legislation, and we have discussed clauses both formally and informally. We got to know the hon member for Wynberg as a person who looks at a matter critically—which he is entitled to do. The hon member analyses a matter critically, but honestly and loyally, while like a patriot, he supports the interests and the protection of this country and all its people. This hon member has been deprived of this post.
I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition whether he will hang an AWB calendar in his office. Apparently he does not know how to reply. I also want to ask the hon member whether he would hang a UDF calendar in his office.
Louis is the liaison officer for the UDF.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition need only say “yes” or “no”. But it seems he is unable to reply to me. I am not sure whether UDF calendars are not possibly hanging in the offices of some of his party members. Then the entire concept is clear to me. It is clear where the sympathy and support of that party lie as far as these security matters are concerned. It is for this reason that I expressed my concern. We are also concerned about the mounting disinvestment campaign against the Republic. We are also equally concerned about organizations in the RSA supporting those undertakings abroad. It is also a cause for concern that there may be members of White political parties who are sympathetically disposed towards those undertakings.
I would appreciate it if the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition would reply in due course to these questions I have put to him. We shall meet each other and hold discussions. We appreciate the opportunity to hold discussions, but to me it is still a moot point why certain members of that party have been edged out. I maintain that this has been done in order to accommodate another group in the PFP, which is stronger than that little group. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is now the man in the middle. He must look after the interests of his party, but he must not leave the loyal supporters of this country out in the cold.
I want to deal with one other matter. The opening address by the State President, which showed far-reaching future vision, is a cut from the national strategy to ensure survival. The determining of national values is essential to the success of such a national strategy. National values are the most fundamental principles on which the survival of a country is based. This ensures the preservations of its identity, independence, security, happiness, prosperity and standard of living. It makes the physical survival of a country possible. [Interjections.] No, the hon member for Jeppe must keep quiet. If I had behaved myself in America the way he did, I would have entered this House with a sense of shame. [Interjections.] I repeat it is the physical survival of people in a state as an identifiable group in a set-up formed through a process of experience, which they consider desirable.
The safeguarding of these principles is also embodied in the preamble to our Constitution. These principles are unalterable. What can be altered are the instruments and the time and the style in regard to the protection and preservation of our national values. Today I am able to tell this House that it is in fact the task of the Government to use these instruments as the time determines to safeguard and preserve our national values.
Mr Chairman, the CP does not object to the Defence Force being used to assist our Police in maintaining order. However, it is a very serious step which could easily give the impression that the security situation in the country is getting out of hand. As a result this step must be resorted to very rarely. However, I want to tell the hon the Minister that the CP is grateful to the Police and the Defence Force, and also congratulates them on the way in which they handled the matter. I also want to tell the hon the Minister of Home Affairs that he is not quite in the land of the living as far as politics is concerned any more, because a statement in this connection has already been issued.
The hon member for Standerton was conducting a dialogue with the PFP here. I think it is very obvious in South African politics today that because the NP has also accepted the principle of power-sharing and mixed government, there is no difference between the NP and the PFP on that score. It is a question of style, another question is that the PFP does not have hundreds, thousands of NP people, conservative people whom they want to keep with them, something that the Government does want to do. Therefore the ways and means that are adopted in doing so are just different. The end envisaged by the Government is exactly the same as that envisaged by the PFP.
The hon Minister of Finance made the accusation yesterday that the CP was a party which was moving backwards at full speed. It is obvious that such an allegation is absurd, but the governing party is a party which is pursuing the integration policy to a superlative degree, without holding back, a policy of political accommodation with political abdication and eventual capitulation as the outcome.
I want to turn immediately to the hon members who come from the Free State and who are present here. I want to ask the hon members of the NP constituencies in the Free State how they reconcile the point of view the State President has now assumed with regard to the Blacks outside the national states, with a few things which I should now like to bring to their attention.
In the first place I want to ask how the NP of the Free State reconciles itself with this standpoint which appears in the program of principles of the party in the Transvaal—I do not know whether the party in the Free State has a different program of principles—and reads as follows:
The next question I want to ask them, is how they now reconcile the standpoints with this point in our program of principles.
Well, I have not broken away from these principles. In the program it is said it is a strict guarding against every attempt at miscegenation between Whites and non-Whites. I quote further:
That appears in the program of principles. In addition I also want to put a question to the hon member for Bloemfontein East. He wrote the following:
I ask how the hon member for Bloemfontein East reconciles this standpoint with the present policy of the National Party? I want to ask the hon members of the Free State how they reconcile it with this standpoint which they adopted at their congress:
The Free State members of the National Party adopted it at their congress.
Which year? Do you not know which year it was?
We just want to verify your quotation.
You are free to verify my quotation. If any of my quotations are incorrect, I will be prepared to admit it. I want to ask the hon Minister of Finance, who has already made more blunders than any of the hon Ministers sitting there, where he gets the proof that the Conservative Party is telling the stories which he has told here today. [Interjections.] I want to return to the hon member Mr Vermeulen. If I quoted him incorrectly previously, I will ask him again to call my attention to it. He wrote the following:
One of these days we will be campaigning in Harrismith. Now I want to ask the hon member Mr Vermeulen: Is he on the road of integration or on the road of separate development? [Interjections.] I want the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education please to listen. How do they reconcile the present standpoints of the National Party with the following:
Does the hon Mr Vermeulen adhere to this standpoint? I want to ask the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs and of National Education whether he adheres to this standpoint.
I shall be speaking at a later stage of the debate.
Does he stand by this standpoint? I want to ask the hon members of the Free State or the Cape Province or Natal whether they stand by this standpoint. After all, they tell us that they stand by the historic fundamental standpoint of the old National Party. Do these hon members stand by this standpoint? Does the hon Minister know from what I have just been quoting?
From the program of principles which your leader signed.
No. The hon the Minister has turned his back on this now, but the game of the ’77 interpretation is over. It is over. If he knew what is going on in the Transvaal, he would not be so calm. If I had had his majority in Primrose, I would have been ashamed. [Interjections.] I want to put a few specific questions to the hon leader of the Free State, who is not here now.
Are you going to stand in the election?
Of course I shall stand again. The sooner the election, the better for me. [Interjections.] I want to ask the hon the leader of the Free State: What is the present standpoint of the National Party with regard to Indians in the Free State? We know Mr Rajbansi is holding sway there, but what is the detailed plan of action of the Indians with regard to the Free State? Answer this question for us, because we are heading for a by-election in the Free State: What is the standpoint of the National Party with regard to mixed marriages and the Immorality Act? We want to ask the National Party of the Free State: What rights of ownership are the Blacks in the Free State going to get? Where are they going to get those rights of ownership? Who are the Blacks who are going to get those rights of ownership? What will be the size of the land that the Blacks are now going to get as right of ownership in the Free State? Let any of the Free State members give us an answer to these questions. The hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs will probably have to come and help them, because he is almost the only speaker the NP still has. If difficulties arise in Primrose or wherever, the poor Minister of Foreign Affairs must rake the chestnuts out of the fire. [Interjections.] I must admit that it is only that hon Minister who still makes any impression at all.
The abdication of the NP was summed up in the words of the leader of the NP in the Free State, when he said during their congress—and I hope I am quoting him correctly—“We cannot go it alone,” and “We do not want to go it alone”. This is the leader of the NP in the Free State who came forward with this confession when he addressed members of the Free State congress, namely, we cannot govern alone any more; we cannot cope with the self-determination of the White man any more. The NP has thrown up its hands, it has surrendered, and with that it has finally and crudely thrown the essential characteristics, the driving force, the principles and the ideals of the NP overboard. It has renounced the soul of the NP. For the sake of serviceableness to foreign countries or whoever, for the sake of a method aimed at leading the Whites astray towards abdication, it still, however, retains the name of the NP. If one considers the political history of South Africa, one would not be far wrong if one came to the conclusion that the NP today is implementing the policy of the late Jan Hofmeyr, only they are doing it in the name of the NP.
I have no respect for the policy of the Official Opposition, because the policy of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition means the downfall of my people, in fact of all the Whites and other peoples, but as an Afrikaner I give him this much credit— he is not doing it in the name of the NP. He is not doing it in the name of the great leaders of the NP. He was prepared to join the PFP and not to sail under colours which are not his own in South African politics.
It becomes more and more clear that the Keeromstreet clique, who were members of the NP for years, are those people who have undermined the NP and that it is they who have ousted the rightful heirs of the NP from the party. One has only to read some of the books that have appeared recently. Anyone who knows politics knows that this is the case. I think there is nothing that has ever given the State President as much pleasure as being able today to oust the late Dr Verwoerd finally from the NP, as he tried to do in the years when he was in the NP. This is the kind of thing which has happened.
The leader of the NP in the Free State said: “We cannot go it alone”, and gradually the stage has been prepared for this tricameral parliament. Did the State President really repudiate Mr Piet Marais when he said: “No tricameral Parliament”? Not at all. Eventually he established a tricameral Parliament. The NP reminds me of Goethe in his poem Erlkӧnig. He used the greatest enticement to intervene like death and wrench that little boy from his beloved father’s lap.
However, that is not all the hon the Minister said. Not only did he say “We cannot go it alone”, but he went further and said: “We do not want to go it alone”. In other words, they are not only incapable of governing the Whites in the country, but they also say: “No, we do not want to do it any more; we prefer to call in the Rev Hendrickse. He must come and govern the Whites. We should rather call in Mr Rajbansi, because we cannot govern the Whites any more; we give up”.
All the years during which we served as members of the NP, we strove for self-determination, but now the NP comes and says: “No, we cannot govern the Whites any more; we must call in people from outside”.
However, we must say this to each other—and the CP has never concealed this, not even during the years when we were members of the NP—namely that South Africa is a multinational country; there is a multiplicity of nations.
We belong to the White nation and we do not hesitate to say that we want to be the sole rulers of the White nation. Then we say that there are also other nations in Southern Africa and, as far as we are concerned, the only just way in which to do it, is to say that if I govern myself the others can govern themselves too.
I stated this point of view. I see the hon Minister Hendrickse is sitting here. We appeared on the same platform and it was my point of view there too. I now want to ask the Government why, if they say that they are one nation—Mr D P de Villiers says that they and the Coloureds are one people; they speak the same language and hold the same views, etc—they have placed the Coloureds in a separate House? On what grounds? Then it is not we who are the racists. The Government has placed them in a separate House only because of skin colour. Then we are not the racists, but the Government are the pigmentists. And that is why I want to say that the Government must be honest. There is a variety of things that we want to say to them.
This hon Minister says he has already replied to me on this, but I say to him that he is not only deceiving the Whites in this country, but that he is also misleading the Coloureds and the Indians. [Interjections.] According to their policy they will be wronged, but let me tell them this: The time of the NP is running out.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: May the hon member say that the hon the Minister is deceiving the people?
The hon member may not say that and must withdraw it.
I withdraw it, Mr Chairman.
Mr Chairman, I have listened to the hon member for Rissik and one must at least give him the one testimonial …
That he is consistently stupid.
No, that he has been honest all the years that he has been in Parliament, but that the mask he wore during the time he was still in the NP, was very perfect. I can see it these days, because the hon member and I are friends and I hope we shall remain friends in spite of cardinal differences in the field of politics. These days he is a much easier person. He is much more good-natured, but that is because he can pour out so freely the venom he utters here and because he could not give vent to his human characteristics as freely during the time when he was in the NP.
When one looks at the statements made here by the hon member, certain questions immediately arise. I want the hon member to look at me while I put this question to him. It concerns the fact that they surely have political aspirations and want to become the next official opposition in this House.
The next Government. [Interjections.]
Very well, the next Government. For that very reason one would expect that if they want to become the next Government, instead of dripping bile and venom, they would come and put forward their alternatives here. [Interjections.] Indeed, if one wants to take the Whites and the other population groups along with one, one is forced to do so. Now I should like to put the following question to him. If he were to come into power in this House, would he then change this system under which he now functions?
Very well, they are going to change it. I therefore take it that in the White section of South Africa they are going to give the votes only to Whites.
Oh man, don’t talk nonsense.
I put the question in all humility, but also in all honesty, to these people who aspire to being the next alternative Government. [Interjections.] Very well, let us say it is the kind of person … [Interjections.]
However, when we come to the test of time and ask what alternative is presented, it is reacted to with witticisms.
You are a quitter (“hensopper”).
I may be a quitter, but I put the question to you. Have you the right…
Mr Chairman, may the hon member call another hon member a quitter?
Will the hon member for Kuruman please withdraw those words.
Mr Chairman, he had his hand in his pocket and cannot, therefore, have his hands up. I withdraw it.
The hon member for Vasco may proceed.
Mr Chairman, may an hon member withdraw something and then qualify those words as the hon member for Kuruman has just done?
The hon member for Kuruman should not have done so, but I have accepted the withdrawal he made. The hon member for Vasco may proceed.
That is the problem in South African politics. I agree with what the hon member for Durban Point said, namely that the three cardinal dimensions in South African politics are represented by the PFP which represents the left wing, the CP which stands in the middle and the NP which represents the right wing. The NP is the only party which applies a realistic and practical policy. While I am on this point, the hon member for Durban Point will excuse me if I put a question to him in this regard. With which one of these three groups of which the hon member spoke, is he going to identify himself, and when?
I put it very clearly. We accept a group basis.
I contend that the hon member should seriously consider joining in somewhere formally and positively, because only then can he make the contribution to South African politics which he should make.
I am not looking for a position in the NP. I give guidance to the Government.
It does not depend on me, but I am not so sure whether the hon member would get a position in the NP if he were to cross the floor to us.
Of the three policies which have been propagated here, that of the Government is the only one that is in line with the practical realism of our time. Let me state briefly why this is so. The policy of the PFP, which has already been implemented in many places in Africa, has not yet succeeded anywhere. I challenge any hon member of that party who speaks after this to give us an example of where the policy that they still propagate to day has succeeded anywhere in Africa. Indeed, it is astonishing that the hon leader of the official Opposition can make an attack on the Government while the policy of his party has failed miserably in the rest of Africa, especially in the economic field. What was the basic problem with that policy? The reason is that PFP policy is based on one man, one vote in a communal structure. That is why it failed, unlike the alternative which the Government is applying in South Africa.
This brings one to the policy of the CP. Strangely enough, their policy is identical to that of the PFP, namely one man, one vote. The only difference between the policies of the PFP and the CP is that although both advocate one man, one vote, according to the PFP it must take place in a communal structure, whereas the CP wants it to apply only to Whites in the RSA.
It is unfair to allege that.
Why then did the hon member for Rissik not want to answer my question? Why did the hon member for Jeppe not help him when I put that easy little question to the hon member for Rissik? The realistic policy of the NP is the only policy with a chance of success today.
May I put a question to the hon member? If the NP says that the Coloureds speak our language, belong to our churches, practise our culture and are part of our nation, why does the NP place them in a separate Chamber?
That was decided as long ago as 1977, and at the time that hon member agreed with it. He accepted it until 1982, but after five years he suddenly rejected it. That is the very aspect to which I want to return. The problem in South Africa is that despite the problems which confronts us, we in this House try to score political points. It has become a very popular pastime for many hon members, especially that hon member, to stand up when they do not have an argument, and to quote what has been said here in the past. [Interjections.] With this new experiment they are engaged in, the NP has given South Africa new hope. [Interjections.]
That hon member is only good for free entertainment. I contend that the only experiment which has not yet failed in Africa, is the experiment which the Government is at present trying to execute. [Interjections.] After all, as long ago as 1977 the CP agreed with us that their present policy did not work. They agreed with us from 1977 until 1982, until we had to effect changes to it. Or is that not true? Had they already committed perjury at that stage? [Interjections.]
You held congresses to change the policy.
The hon member spoke at congresses, but in those days he agreed, here and in the caucus and everywhere. That is true, and it is good and it is right. The hon member agreed about change, and about changing the original policy before 1977. Let us be honest with each other; after all, we do not have time to score points off one another here. We cannot waste our time on trifles. [Interjections.]
Who is scoring points off whom?
It will be better if I do not elaborate. It may give offence to certain members.
Thus far South Africa is the only country in Africa which has succeeded in increasing the per capita income of the population in the past decade by means of evolutionary political development. We are the only country of which the economy is still holding its own, in spite of the setbacks being encountered internationally. That is why I tend to agree with the words that have already been quoted here, namely that “fortune favours the bold”, or “only the brave will survive”.
†This experiment is a bold one and those who want to come along with us have a chance of success. However, in my opinion those who do not want to come along with us will unfortunately not survive politically in South Africa.
May I put a question to the hon member?
No, I do not have much time left. The hon member can put it to me privately later. [Interjections.]
After all, we did not do so badly. The hon member of the official Opposition made extensive use of quotations yesterday, but I want to quote a few things to him, too, so that we can show each other that the Government has not fared so badly at all on the balance of probabilities. I want to refer to what Mr C W H du Toit said on 5 December 1984.
†As Chairman, Mr C W H du Toit addressed the Annual General Meeting of the SA Council of the International Chamber of Commerce and said the following:
*Then he goes on:
After all, that is what is taking place at the moment.
I can quote more, but for lack of time I only want to say that the accusation made by the Leader of the Official Opposition is untrue. It is incorrect, it is not right. I could also quote Mr George Palmer for example, who says:
He proceeds to say that it is not the fault of the Government only. Let us now return to the accusations levelled at the hon the Minister of Finance. I want to quote from the speech of the President of Assocom, Mr Bill Yeowart, which was also delivered towards the end of 1984:
We have not fared so badly. Indeed, outside one does encounter appreciation for what the Government is doing. There are problems. We cannot get away from that. We do have problems. However, this Government was also in office when things were going well, and the same policy was being applied then.
When we look at what the present situation has entailed for us, we see that we are not doing so badly. After all, there are certain benefits too. I quote:
This is what it is all about.
However, we see that we do have problems. It is the old story once again. There is an old proverb that says that when poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window. That is what is happening in South Africa at the moment. At the moment there is talk of low productivity, Government policy, etc. However, I want to say that I think we have three major problems. The one is lack of trust between the private sector and the public sector. I think that to an extent a psychosis is developing which is dangerous. A few years ago we began with the Carlton conference and the Good Hope conference, and there was co-operation and trust. However, as a result of poverty having come in at the door, these things have been disturbed. I have appreciation for the good things which have been done by the Government, but I think we must try to re-establish that trust. We must get the idea and psychosis of public sector vs private sector out of our system. After all, in the end it is a question of the private and public sectors co-operating for the benefit of the country. Overspending by the Government has occurred, but the private sector has contributed too.
We speak of low productivity, but in this regard I want to put a question to the hon member for Bryanston who is so clever. I would have put it to the hon member for Yeoville, but he is not here. Let me put forward a simple calculation as an example. A bricklayer lays 1 000 bricks per day and is paid R20. Now his productivity is wonderful. As a result of a labour shortage, however, he is appointed by another company at R40 per day. However, he still lays 1 000 bricks per day. He is not less productive. Where, then, does low productivity come into the picture? He still does the same amount of work per day. Must we then speak of low productivity, or of over-paying? We must just get our principles straight for a change. We must get our priorities straight for a change with regard to these matters. In that regard, we in South Africa have experience of the fact that as far as productivity is concerned, the one cannot blame the other. We are all in this situation together.
We in this country are also obliged to guard against over-mechanization, whereas mechanization can be carried to extremes in the countries which are totally industrialized. We cannot afford this, because the job opportunities we must provide with a view to our population explosion, force us to work to a lower productivity factor. We shall simply have to accept this. Because I believe that this Government has always given its best for this country and will continue to do so, and because this is the only Government capable of doing so—I do not want to speak of the others—I want to ask that we orientate ourselves with regard to the economy, as we did with the political dispensation by accepting the challenges of politics. The economy and politics are inseparably bound up with one another, and politics will be influenced by the prosperity that we experience in our economy. I therefore want to request that the Government consider once again whether it is possible to make sharp decisions in this regard. In the past we have found that good decisions have become blurred with the passing of time. I want to ask the hon the Minister of Defence whether the system of two-year training in the Defence Force cannot be reconsidered. Consideration should be given to the possibility of revising the system. One could consider the possibility of providing training for boys while they are in the Defence Force which they can use in the national economy when they are discharged from the Defence Force. I want to ask the Government to take initiatives in the economic sphere in the same purposeful and positive way as it has in the political field, and apply them to the economy. I note for example an article entitled: “J C Heunis suggests free harbour zone for Border”. That is an excellent idea, except that he should have included Cape Town! That is the kind of initiative which should be taken.
In this regard one also thinks of tax. Consideration ought to be given to the possibility of imposing personal tax on a person’s basic income, but with the proviso that any extra income, earned through the use of initiative, be subject to a certain rebate. It is this type of thing—new ideas, new criteria—which is necessary to seize the interests and idealism of the population. I think the Government is capable of this. I ask this, with every confidence that it will happen.
Mr Chairman, at the end of his speech the hon member for Vasco made one or two interesting suggestions which, in my opinion, we could discuss in more detail at a later stage. I am referring, in particular, to his reference to military service and certain fringe benefits and relevant benefits. The hon member will appreciate that I cannot spend too much time on his speech because I actually want to react to a few statements made by the hon member for Standerton.
There is a tendency in the House to use the concept “patriotism” to one’s own advantage from time to time. It is used especially by the hon members on the other side of the House when they want to indicate the degree of patriotism of other South Africans as a measure of the extent to which they are prepared to support that party’s policy. Although I appreciate the fact that that hon member sees me as a patriot, I immediately reject it if he regards that patriotism as a measure of my willingness to support that party’s policy. What I have just said is equally applicable to all hon members of this party in the House. I gauge the contribution that I am prepared to make to my country by the degree to which I am prepared to employ my efforts, to do my best and to propagate the policy I believe to be best for South Africa. This is one of the ways in which this concept should in my opinion be measured.
However, the hon member made a few statements to which I should like to react. Amongst other things he referred to the riots in Black townships at the end of last year. A major part of what he said was correct. Not everything he said, however, corresponded to the erstwhile events, as I recall them. Soon after it had been announced at NP congresses that the military would be used to assist the police on an on-going basis, four hon members of this party, namely the hon members for Yeoville, Bezuidenhout and Edenvale and myself, requested a meeting with the hon the Minister of Defence to discuss with him the use of the Defence Force in Black townships. The hon the Minister, however, could not keep that appointment personally because of other commitments, but we met with the hon the Deputy Minister. I thanked him at the time and I do so again. Of importance, however, is the standpoint we adopted as a group at that meeting. I can think of no better way to draw the attention of the House to our point of view than to quote from three documents which I made available to the Press at the time and which were used to a greater or lesser extent. I should like to quote from the press statement at that time. I shall not quote the full statement. I said, inter alia:
†I also said:
I went further:
That is the one statement which I made at the time. In another document which was made available to the Sunday Star I said:
I also said that there were many reasons why this should be done. I went further and said:
If that does not very clearly give that hon member and the House a clear understanding as to what our view was at that time, perhaps I could refer to one last extract. In an article published in the Sunday Tribune I said:
The hon the Deputy Minister will agree with me that we did speak politely. I quote further:
We said that under exceptional circumstances there may be cause to do so. I quote further:
We at that time made it very clear in a friendly and polite manner that what the Government was doing was a mistake and that it should cease forthwith. That was my view then, and that is my view now.
*Mr Speaker, of the many dramatic events of 1984, the extensive unrest and violence in the Black areas of the Southern Transvaal and the Eastern Cape were some of the worst. The violence itself gave cause for concern and pinpointed acute defects in the political structures and the educational systems for Blacks in the urban areas. In my opinion, however, what was even more alarming than the actual violence was the way in which the Government dealt with the situation. As far as I know, every single one of the Western countries with which we have trading links, received the action of the Government with amazement and stupefaction. Confidence in our ability to accommodate the political aspirations of our Black people was perhaps finally destroyed by the Government’s actions at the time, as well as the confidence in South Africa as a possible venue of investment.
The Government’s actions considerably strengthened the hand of the disinvestment groups. I believe that the weak rand can, to a great extent, be linked to the Government’s action. I believe that when we look back one day, we shall realize that in 1984 it was finally proved that this Government was panic-stricken and was prepared to use a sledge-hammer to deal with a political problem.
The Government simply decided to remove the dividing line between the functions of the Defence Force and the Police and to make continuous use of the Defence Force to assist the police in riot situations.
I am aware that the Defence Act does provide for the use of military power in a support role, but on this side of the House— and I believe outside this House too—there is grave concern about the use of the Defence Force in that particular role. Usually troops are used only in an emergency, and then in support of the Police. For that reason, for example, troops are being used in Belfast where the civilian government has, for all practical purposes, lost control.
Did an emergency, however, exist in South Africa? In September we all assembled in Parliament here in Cape Town. The members on this side of the House then requested a debate on the riot situation in the Black areas of South Africa. It was not permitted. I can only conclude that it was not permitted because the Government was under the impression that no emergency existed. Why then were the military used? Or was there, in fact, an emergency which the Government tried to conceal by covering it up? I should like to know from the hon the Minister of Law and Order if the Police did, in fact, lose control in Sebokeng and Sharpeville. Have we in South Africa perhaps now reached the stage where the Police are no longer capable of protecting local citizens against a few agitators? Or did the Government merely decide that the inhabitants of those areas should be taught a lesson? …
Did they perhaps merely decide that a lesson had to be taught, that they would use the Police to do so and use the Defence Force to impress the community, and perhaps even intimidate it?
In the short term it may even be that the Government succeeded at the time. In the long term, however, I believe that the price is very high.
I regret to say that the majority of Blacks see the South African Police as the long arm of the apartheid law. It is a pity that this is so, but it is nevertheless true. The Police, whose role should be a protective one has for so many years been used by that Government to enforce discriminatory and hurtful legislation that it is seen as the apartheid law by a large section of the Black population. On the other hand, I believe that up to 1984, the primary role of the Defence Force was the protection of our borders against external aggression. The Defence Force only acted internally in exceptional cases, and then only when the Police could not do their work.
I once again ask if that was also the case in Sebokeng. We on this side of the House expect an answer to this from the Government. We want to know if they did, in fact, lose control in the Black areas and were consequently forced to take that step. The use of the Defence Force for the suppression of political agitation afforded the agitators the opportunity of identifying the Defence Force as a suppressor of the legitimate aspirations of the Black citizens of South Africa. Nor can I think of anything else that would stoke the fires of revolution so effectively. Once we start using the SA Defence Force to suppress the political activities of the Black people—and if that is to be the Government’s approach,—then this is already a very late hour for South Africa.
There is, however, another more fundamental problem inherent in use of a Defence Force in the Black areas. The police concentrate on apprehending criminals. In contrast, the military direct their efforts towards dealing with the enemy. When the Defence Force is used, in an internal situation, however, the message to the Black citizens is very clear, and what that message says is that they are seen by the Government as being the enemy. When we in South Africa start seeing the Black citizens of this country as our enemies—as I have already said—a very serious problem develops and we are also entering upon a very difficult period. I therefore want to know if it is possible—and I put this question to the hon Minister of Defence very pertinently—that the Government does not understand this. I can truly not believe that the hon member opposite cannot see the danger when the division between the roles of the military and the Police is ignored. I find that simply unbelievable. Yet we find that the Police and the SA Defence Force have at present been placed under jurisdiction of one single Deputy Minister. To me this is an indication that the Government does not really understand the delicacy of the situation in this connection. I therefore ask the hon Minister of Defence to at least give attention to that request of mine; to think again about what they are doing and to heed what I am saying now.
Yes, let the hon member for Kroonstad laugh. Let him laugh, because it is an indication of the seriousness with which he views the future of the country. [Interjections.] The hon member can laugh, because he does not know how to deal with this matter. Allow me to tell him however, why he will still be laughing. In Sebokeng the SA Defence Force used approximately 5 000 troops to surround one single Black area. Now I want to know what the Government would do if five Sebokengs were to spring up. What would they do if there were 50? [Interjections.] What would they do if there were 100? Is the hon member for Kroonstad, who is now sitting there laughing, prepared to encounter a situation in which 500 000 South African troops are used to deal with a political problem in the Black communities of South Africa? [Interjections.] I can think of nothing more damaging to the South African economy than the attitude of hon members such as the hon member for Kroonstad, someone who considers it to be a joke when young White South Africans are used to assist the Police when they cannot meet their obligations, something which of necessity would lead to the SA Defence Force being seen as an extension of the Government’s apartheid machine. We simply cannot continue like this. I therefore request the hon Minister to give this matter his urgent attention. If we do not do so this Government will have to bear the full responsibility for both the economic situation and the loss of confidence overseas resulting from the Government’s actions. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to put a question to the hon member for Wynberg. However, I must say that I was quite amused by the remarkable egg-dance which the hon member performed. He managed throughout to avoid answering the question of whether he is for or against compulsory military service. He dealt with all aspects except that question, which is surely a burning issue in his party. The hon member will know that the hon Leader of his party has acted in accordance with his standpoint on compulsory military service. We are aware of the standpoint of the hon member for Wynberg, but I do not think it is to his credit that he was not willing to uphold in this House the patriotic standpoint which he has adopted within his party. What the hon member had to say about the use of the Defence Force in Black residential areas will be fully dealt with under the Defence Vote. The hon the Minister has also given his full reasons, on the appropriate occasion, as to why the Defence Force had to take action in those areas.
While I am referring to an hon member who belongs to the PFP, I want to concede to him that if there is one opposition party in this House with which one is able to conduct a meaningful debate, it is the PFP. This is because the PFP adopts standpoints which are based on its principles and consistent policy. The PFP’s standpoints and policy are clearly and diametrically opposed to those of the NP. We disagree with the PFP, but we understand its policy.
I do not intend to refer to the CP today, and I shall refrain from doing so until it is clear to me what they stand for. The CP has run away from the 1977 constitutional proposals. They have also run away from the homeland policy—or have they? I do not know. They have spoken of a Coloured homeland, but now they are concentrating on a White homeland. I wish Dr Connie Mulder had been in this House today to tell us what plan he had at the back of his mind when he said that he rejected the 1977 constitutional proposals. This could perhaps have provided the CP with a policy which they could have spelt out in this House, and on which we could have compared our standpoint with theirs. No, the only real opposition party in this House is the PFP. It is true that we do not agree with them, but it is necessary that we should assess the seriousness and responsibility with which that party adopts its standpoints—especially the Leader of that party—in the light of its conduct.
Furthermore, I should like to inquire what happened after the announcement of a Cabinet Committee which was to investigate the problems in the Black communities. What reaction did we get from the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and from his party? What was the reaction? The reaction was, firstly, that they did not offer their cooperation in seeking a solution. On the contrary, they appointed their own committee consisting of six members.
I want us to examine this committee today, now that a considerable period has elapsed during which this committee has been able to do its work and to carry out its instructions. Who is its chairman? The hon member for Pietermaritzburg North. It is not without reason that the hon the Leader of the Opposition chose the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North as the chairman of that committee. In fact, it is very clear from the speech made by the hon the Leader of the Opposition himself. Furthermore, like the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North, he turned to one of our neighbouring states to the north of this country, Zimbabwe, to find his example of a solution. When he wanted to disparage the new dispensation, he also used the example of Zimbabwe with regard to the percentage poll. Why specifically Zimbabwe? Because he and the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North are kindred spirits.
I think this is a valid question to ask: Why has one of the senior members of that party not been employed in dealing with this most important problem in South African politics? Where is the hon member for Berea, the spokesman on Black affairs? What has become of the hon member for Berea? What has become of the hon member for Pinelands? Did he serve on that committee? What about the hon member for Houghton? The hon member for Houghton never misses an opportunity to express an opinion on the handling of Black affairs.
It is illuminating to see exactly who is serving on that committee. Let me read the names: The hon member for Albany, the hon member for Walmer, the hon member for Greytown, the hon member for Johannesburg North and the hon member for Cape Town Gardens. Who are these hon members? Almost without exception total backbenchers of the PFP. When we ask, then, with what degree of seriousness the Official Opposition approaches the problems of this country, and this is the committee which they appoint to deal with the most serious problem, are we not justified in saying that we question the seriousness and the sincerity of that party in approaching these problems? [Interjections.]
The hon members over there are getting restless, but let me ask only this: Suppose that instead of the Cabinet committee appointed by the then Prime Minister, the present State President, a committee consisting exclusively of NP backbenchers had been appointed. What would the PFP and the world have said about our approach to the handling of Black affairs in this country? Is this not a reasonable question to put to the PFP? What would the PFP and the world have said? They would have said that we were being frivolous if we wanted to deal with this serious problem in such a manner.
What is even more important is this: What does the PFP expect of the Black people of this country? Do they not realize that these people are politically sophisticated and intelligent enough to know that by appointing such a committee, the PFP is expressing its contempt for these people by telling them: We have already decided for you? This is the way in which the PFP deals with the problems of this country.
I believe that if the PFP wants to make a positive contribution in this House, the PFP owes these people an apology and that the PFP should go further and should dissolve this committee. May I ask the PFP how successful its committee has been in performing its task? The PFP’s committee had been instructed to consult with individual Black leaders.
Are you serious?
I am very definitely very serious indeed. I notice that the hon backbencher who has just made that interjection does not seem to be so serious himself in his handling of this serious problem. What did the hon member for Albany, who made that interjection, do to carry out his task? With which Black leaders did he consult and what was the outcome of those consultations? I think the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition will have to take cognizance of the standpoint of the Black people of this country, not in a haughty and arrogant way, as they do at the moment, but in a way which has been made possible for them by the machinery provided for them by the NP Government. My question is: What recommendation will the Official Opposition make to some of the Black leaders with whom they are in contact in respect of their participation in the discussion which is now being made possible for them? Will their recommendation be an unyielding insistence on the standpoint of the PFP, namely a Black majority government, a unitary state? If this were to be the standpoint of the PFP, we would not make any progress in this country. I hope that the PFP will conclude this debate on a positive note, unlike the way in which they began it. Hon members will remember the outcome of their own investigation of their crushing defeat in the referendum. The outcome of that investigation was that the PFP should go back to the voters of this country with a more positive standpoint, that they should react positively. Now my question is: Do they accept that good advice which has been given to them?
Mr chairman, I am sorry that the hon members of the PFP have had such a dreadful effect on my colleague from Fauresmith. It really was a dreary account of all the terrible things they are going to do. I am also concerned about the effect which these noisy backbenchers might have on the country, when they are really not worth a great deal of attention at all.
Are you not your only backbencher?
Yes, but that is very special.
I think a very pertinent point was mentioned a moment ago by an hon member of the CP in relation to the presence of the members of the other Houses in this Chamber. If there is one thing that stands out today, it is their absence from the debate today. Both the positive and negative points that have been made by the various members in the debate may have been both alarming and interesting to them. Certainly one hopes that with the no-confidence debates in the future, it may be possible for the Houses to be present not to talk past one another to hear some of the nonsense that goes on between the NP and the CP, some of the outdated suggestions that the NP puts forward, as well as some of the matters which the CP thinks are up to date but which were really outdated before they even started. Certainly I think it will be most edifying for them and we will get a lot further than by debating in three separate Houses.
Which way are you going?
Right down the middle. [Interjections.] I think if anything has become clearer to anyone remotely interested in South African politics over the past year and now with the State President’s Opening Address, it is the fact that the present new Constitution is merely an interim measure to buy time. It is a measure which has to be amended. It has to be built upon in order to achieve the just society we all seek in South Africa. It is that accepted expectation of such an amendment by the vast majority that is in itself an extremely positive and important indication of a crucial turning point in South Africa’s affairs, and in our political affairs in particular.
It is very definite to us in these benches that participation by the Coloured and Indian communities was an act of faith on their part we dare not break that faith. It is almost bizarre to reflect that with the introduction of the new Constitution, these two components of the South African family of different cultures had become part of the problem-solving mechanism instead of, as previously considered by the Nationalist Government, part of the problem. Indeed, it is only through participation by all groups that we can ever hope to achieve the peace, stability and progress that we all desire and without which we will endure indescribable suffering.
Furthermore, we believe that this also includes the Black South African family. They must become part of the problem-solving mechanism, and that is why we on these benches greet the State President’s Opening address with a sense of great relief, optimism and hope, because, inter alia, of its very fundamental change in posture, its fundamental difference in approach and, as the hon member for Durban Point put it, its more open-ended, more flexible approach to talking and listening to other people in order to ascertain what their point of view is, rather than putting before them a ready-made solution to which they have to conform.
It is so that the Black leaders, and local authorities in particular, will have to debate the removal of influx control and its replacement by an urbanization strategy. It is also they who will have to assist in setting standards for controlled squatting and the administration thereof. It is they who bear the brunt of lawlessness, crime and extremist activity in their midst. Not only is it right therefore that they should participate, but the hard, plain truth is, in fact, that we need them as we cannot solve the problems of this country without them.
When one speaks of urbanization, too many people think only of the cities. Yet it is upon the success of an urbanization strategy that so much depends in the rural areas. Groaning under the weight of a vastly over-populated state, even subsistence farming is breaking down and cannot survive in the future. Land reform measures are the only hope, and to implement these measures, access to employment in the commercial and industrial centres, if only in the informal sector which exists on the periphery of every city, town and village, is absolutely crucial.
In a properly structured confederation, the debate on an urbanization strategy must be coupled to effective land usage and land reform. Pending this type of negotiated action, continuing forced removals for ideological reasons could wreck the chances of credibility and participation in the initiatives that the State President has outlined. Influx control, removals, land reform and urbanization are all part of the same syndrome. The misconceptions of the past Nationalist policy must be buried forever and replaced by a negotiated strategy for the future. Indeed, it is quite incredible to see what misconceptions still persist. Only last night on television the hon the Minister of Manpower, when questioned by a panel about the existence of channels for political expression by organized labour, replied that such channels did exist. He said that apart from the local authorities level, a person who wished to go further could make himself available for election in a homeland. Misconceptions of that nature and that sort of outdated attitude to participation by Blacks are really so obsolete and so ineffective that they too will only assist in wrecking this new approach to the question of Black participation.
The level of frustration and the heightened radicalization among people is there for all to see in people like Tutu and Boesak. They are all products of the NP’s policy. They have become radicalized in frustration over the years and now create a tremendous problem for our country. The only way in which the national states can achieve credibility in the eyes of the Blacks is by becoming an integral part of a communal constitutional structure and not by existing outside of it.
It is time that we face up to the facts without any trimmings that South Africa is a country with a Black majority. To avoid the issue is to waste extremely precious time. The real issue then becomes whether political parties support the majority principle on the one hand or the group structure for the future government of South Africa on the other. In this system group rights or guarantees must not be seen as vestiges of privilege but as practical steps of sharing the proceeds of taxation while maintaining the momentum of the economy since this alone can bring about a situation where the have-nots will be able to adjust upwards to the haves. The alternative, the majority rule syndrome, will without any question of doubt …
Mr Chairman, could the hon member for King William’s Town please explain how he sees the concept of a group? Is it a voluntary or a compulsory grouping he has in mind?
I think the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South knows that we do not believe in the political grouping on the common roll on a proportional basis in which they believe. We believe in the groups which are already identified in the country and exist as such. As a starting point for consociational democracy those groups, which are already beginning to be represented in this House, are the groups we are referring to.
To give credibility to the group rights, it is crucial that the Government should remove discrimination from the Statute Book and in particular put an end to detention without trial. This must happen with the utmost alacrity or else we run an additional risk of discrediting this embryo group system which finds itself in operation in this Parliament today. On the other hand the majority type approach would without doubt be a punitive way of bringing about, through taxation, the redress of wrongs in the country in a manner which could only cause incredible economic hardship and in the process slow down the economy in such a way that not only would the have-nots end up having less than they have already, but a great deal less would be available all round in a chaotic and lawless situation. This would destroy incentive and this tax mechanism, used as a punitive measure to right the wrongs of apartheid would not take into account that there is a limit to what can be legitimately demanded from the private sector and the taxpayer for those things which they believe should be available to them and should have been available to them over the years.
Yesterday in this House the hon member for De Kuilen, in reply to a speech from the Official Opposition benches, refused to accept that the NP’s policy had anything at all to do with the economic down turn. I just want to say to that hon member, although he is not in the House at the moment, that that is really the most ridiculous and incomprehensible statement for a man of his experience in politics to make. He does not understand yet what goes on in the consolidation process. He does not understand that when White-owned farms are taken over, the families on those farms find themselves without work opportunities, without schooling, very often without medical attention and that that farm runs itself down into a state of ruin, so that more taxpayers’ money will have to be ploughed into it in order to attempt to bring it back to where it was.
I say “attempt”, because with the best will in the world the current efforts in respect of land held by the SA Development Trust are absolutely pitiful. The wastage that is going on in the consolidation process with regard to agricultural land, the waste of taxpayers’ money let alone the effective use of agricultural land, is one area of Government policy for which there is no excuse whatsoever.
We believe that the initiatives announced by the State President are critical to this country. With regard to the Cabinet Committee which one judged with some misgiving perhaps a little hastily, we trust that there will be ongoing reports back of their progress, that they will maintain the momentum and the climate of hope, foster goodwill and the intention to make the group system of representation available to all and will see to it, in this early stage when it has to be nurtured, cosseted and guarded that it does not fail.
Mr Chairman, listening to the hon member for King William’s Town, I believe that hon members will understand why there was no problem in admitting the hon members for Amanzimtoti, South Coast and Durban North to my party. There is not much on which I differ as far as principles are concerned. Most of what has been said by the hon member is acceptable to this side of the House. On the other hand, I can see why hon members on those benches are still where they are, because the hon member also made a few ridiculous statements. He indicated that people like Tutu and Boesak are products of NP policy, but I believe that they would have been there even if the PFP had been in power, something which I do not believe any one of us foresees. They would still have been there and would have propagated the policies that they are propagating at present.
The hon member for King William’s Town also referred to consolidation. He lives in an area where he must have experienced some difficulties in the process of consolidation. I also come from an area where we see the practical problems emanating from consolidation. It is quite true that some of the ways and methods that are being used can be improved upon, such as the better use of agricultural land. The department concerned is applying its mind and its energy to effecting that. As far as agriculture is concerned, therefore, I am quite sure that the department concerned will be able to show the hon member results which indicate the opposite. But it is quite true that we must consider criticism in order to improve on the process. However, I do not think that the hon member disagrees with the principle of consolidation. I think that he is criticizing certain methods, but not the principle of consolidation.
*It was my privilege to spend a short period of time in Natal, and it did me good, in spite of what the hon member from umhlanga had to say about that. [Interjections.] The hon member is afraid that I shall one day be taking his seat from him. [Interjections.] So let me notify of the fact that at the first chance I get I shall be rolling up my sleeves and giving him or someone else a go. I know them. I know all their chicanery. [Interjections.]
Permit me to say a few words to my colleague, the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education. In his previous capacity of Minister of National Education he acquitted himself well, in his characteristic manner, of his task of dealing with the education and the training of the White youth. Following in his footsteps is truly a weighty endeavour. Let me pay tribute to him and wish him every success with the gigantic task he now has to perform. Also permit me to refer to the appointment of Dr J H Jooste, former Director of the Transvaal Education Department, to the post of Chief Executive Director of the Department of which I am at present the head. I have always had exceptional appreciation for his competence in the educational sphere and for his human qualities. I welcome his appointment, and it is a privilege and a pleasure for me to have him at my side.
The new constitutional structure has also brought forth a new dispensation for the education and culture of the White population in our country. This afternoon I should like to put forward a few standpoints, thereby possibly enabling hon members of the CP to realize to what mast my flag has been nailed. They must just give me an opportunity to put forward those standpoints, and they can then, with the greatest of pleasure, fire away to their hearts content when the budget debate takes place. [Interjections.]
The provision of education is the very lifeblood of any country. It is instrumental in extending the capabilities of the inhabitants so that the country’s manpower potential can best be utilized. For decades now the organised provision of education in White South Africa has developed well, and White education has already reached a sophisticated level of efficiency, with a firm foundation having been laid for its further development in the future. Many hon members know, better than I do, of the investigations carried out in recent years. The problems which have been pinpointed in the research reports and which in future will become relevant, had already been anticipated and are receiving positive attention. So we are really going to harness our past experience in the future. I have a very positive message to convey.
During the HSRC investigation the National Education Policy Act of 1967 formed a firm basis for both the recommendations of the head committee and for the formulation of the Government’s interim memorandum, the report of the interim task group and the White Paper.
In all the speeches of this debate there have been clear intimations of the fact that at everyone, of whatever political persuasion, cherishes high hopes of education and training being the key to future development and prosperity. So please permit me, Sir, to present you with a few of the principles, as I see them.
In the very first instance the reality of South Africa’s community of interests and diversity must be borne in mind by Education. At the first tier of government the education system’s control structure has already been brought into line with that. We have a Government department responsible for general affairs, and separate departments dealing with the own education of the other population groups. We are going to bear this in mind in future when planning is done and when substance is given to educational programmes. The curriculum for White pupils must, for example, apart from the particular language and other needs of White pupils, also take cognizance of manpower needs. In determining the learning programme content, this Department will have to pay due heed to the views of the parents, the educators and the community, which also includes the private sector.
Various research reports have confirmed the need for efficient profession-orientated education. This relates, in particular, to those pupils who enter the professional sphere before completing the secondary school phase, or immediately thereafter. Both the school and the professional sphere have an interest in this. All these bodies should help build that bridge. The department will be giving its serious attention to this essential co-operation in an ordered structure.
A further facet is educational financing. Western education, including education in Africa, has become very expensive in recent years. Western countries, and countries in Africa in particular, have proved that bigger budgets do not necessarily mean better education. For South Africa, too, education can become a bottomless pit if we do not plan meaningfully and set our sights firmly on the real educational needs. That is why the rationalized provision of education means making optimal use of what we have.
The most important perspective for the future is that it also falls to me and to my department to ensure that the standards in the provision of education for the Whites are maintained and extended in every respect. That is a fundamental principle that the department and I will uphold.
†A further fundamental concept in education in the future will be the devolution of authority. This concept has already been implemented by the granting of additional responsibility to educational authorities to utilize staff according to their own requirements. This concept is also evident in the greater involvement envisaged for parents. In accepting the principle of devolution of authority, the State acknowledges greater participation by the parent community, the education profession and the general community, including the private sector. This direction is a sound one. The more rigid the control which the State exercises in education, the smaller the contribution of its partners tends to become.
The parent and the teacher are important partners in the educational process at school level. Both occupy a sensitive position of trust. I would like to sound a note of warning: Both partners must guard against misuse of their position of trust for the sake of personal or group interests, such as party politics.
*In recent years education has been the focal point of public interest. One fact was clearly apparent, and that was that the educator had a key role to play. The new educational dispensation, in particular, will make severe demands on the educator. I am very glad to be able to tell hon members of the House that I detect a spirit of complete willingness on the part of the educator when it comes to the acceptance of all these challenges. There is also proof of this in the initiatives taken by the various relevant bodies, bodies such as the SA Teachers’ Council for Whites, the Federal Council of Teachers’ Associations, the various teachers’ associations and the interested associations at the tertiary level. They all evidence, in all seriousness, an understanding of the scope of the responsibilities.
The organized teaching profession has already submitted an efficient negotiating mechanism for educational planning to me— my predecessor too. I foresee few problems with the inclusion of organized education in this context. Good progress has also been made in connection with the negotiations on a new bargaining mechanism for the organized teaching profession. A striking characteristic of all the negotiations is that the emphasis has been laid on good co-operation for the achievement of maximum consensus, with confrontation not coming to the fore.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
No, Sir. Clear proof of the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of the educators is the recent improvement in the salaries, the posts and the career structures for this professional group. It is only proper for me to extend my sincere thanks to my predecessor and to other control bodies, including the organized teaching profession, for the way in which this gigantic task has been tackled and carried out. What has been the result? The result has been a satisfied and well-motivated corps of educators and a positive image for education. Even now this is evident. I want to point out to hon members opposite that this positive image of education can be seen reflected, in particular, in the increasing requests for admission to teachers’ training colleges. Countless prospective students have to be turned away because the colleges cannot meet the demand.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
Order! The hon the Minister has already indicated that he does not want to answer questions. The hon the Minister may proceed.
Although I understand that I am not delivering a maiden speech—I have been absent from the House for five years—those hon members could at least show me the courtesy that would apply in the case of a maiden speech. [Interjections.]
It is also of cardinal importance to me that White education, as in the past, should continue to have a Christian and broadly national character. I also remain convinced of the well-founded validity of mother-tongue education. I personally will ensure that these principles are maintained.
†It is a function of the Department of Education and Culture to maintain the programme for the advancement of the culture of the White population group. In this regard it is important that the autonomy and self-determination of cultural organizations should be guarded. Traditionally, and also in legislation, we acknowledge the identity and culture of every population group in South Africa. It is essential in our country with its variety of cultures that each culture should be preserved and nurtured. It is also essential that a knowledge of and appreciation for the culture of other groups and nations be developed in order to promote understanding and better human relations. The State advances culture by supporting and aiding existing voluntary cultural organizations. In accordance with this policy the Department merely creates the opportunities for the White community to advance its culture. Participating in cultural activities is therefore the privilege of a community.
*In this connection I should also like to make a few remarks. Cultural organizations do not serve the State, least of all any political party. Party-political considerations should not motivate the breaking up of cultural organizations or the establishment of new organizations.
I now want to refer, in particular, to the Afrikaner—of whose group I am a part— with his particular culture and language. I think the Afrikaner has already furnished proof of effectively being able to promote and extend his cultural assets, in spite of opposing party-political standpoints within cultural organizations. He has already proved, too, that he can promote and maintain his own culture alongside those of other cultural groups without regarding his own cultural group as superior or inferior and expecting the Government to protect it for him.
In our new constitutional set-up cultural organizations will, in future, be able to build valuable bridges when it comes to our relations with other cultural groups. For that reason we should not subject them to any impediments, and that is why we must protect and develop our cultural organizations, in spite of our party-political differences. It would be a great loss to us if the cultural organizations were paralysed by virtue of their having been placed at the service of specific group prejudices.
Tell us something about the Youth Year.
I am coming to that now.
The Department’s involvement with youth on an extra-mural basis takes place on two levels, ie that of young students and that of the working youth. The eight regions of the Directorate: Cultural Affairs have a standing directive to give specific attention to working youth. I am glad to see that last year there were approximately 21 000 young working people who were involved in the youth projects offered by the various organizations in co-operation with the Department.
The 16 camping sites, which hon members apparently make use of, are used constantly by tertiary bodies and cultural organizations.
This year is, of course, Youth Year, which is actually being co-ordinated and directed by my hon colleague, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. Naturally this Department of Education and Culture for the White community will also be involved to a specific extent, and to the extent that this is possible, all its branches and its expertise will be available for the youth to make use of. Numerous bodies have already benefited from the guidance offered in this connection. I am also making a special appeal to these various organizations, which will be carrying out their activities in certain regions, to give attention to the activities of the Youth Year. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Department of Education and Culture will make a full-fledged contribution to the new dispensation as one of the divisions of own affairs of the House of Assembly, and I have complete confidence in the fact that every hon member in this House will set himself the task of giving positive support to the activities of the Department.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister who has just resumed his seat raised two matters to which I should like to refer. The first is that he said that he would tell us in due course where he stands. The hon the Minister need not tell us where he stands. Even before we left the NP, he had already climbed in and crossed swords with my hon leader; but apart from that, he also did so in a very derogatory way with the previous State President, Mr B J Vorster, when the hon the Minister was still an Administrator and should have maintained a degree of political neutrality.
The second point to which I want to react is the fact that he mentioned that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is also responsible for Youth Year. Now one asks oneself: Why do we still need a Cabinet of twenty—or however many people—in this country? The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning controls the finances of South Africa. The Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning tells the Minister of Economic Affairs how to deal with his economy. The Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning runs and controls the country up to the third level of government. Now we hear that he is also going to control the activities of Youth Year. The reason for his having Youth Year fall under him is because he is going to use Youth Year to indoctrinate the youth of South Africa into integration. [Interjections.] Now I want to ask—and this will suffice as far as Youth Year is concerned—whether it is true that the emblem of the Youth Year of the UN is also going to be the emblem of the South African Youth Year. I state categorically that this is, in fact, going to be the case.
Another important thing took place today in this very House. Rev Alan Hendrickse, the hon Minister without portfolio, came and took his seat in this House for the first time today. That is important, and I believe we should place it on record. And I shall tell you why I want it recorded. In the Orange Free State, in the Harrismith constituency, office-bearers of the National Party are still telling voters that it is untrue that there is a Coloured member of the Cabinet of the State President of South Africa. [Interjections.] That is what they are proclaiming there. [Interjections.] In his absence I therefore want to tell the hon Rev Alan Hendrickse that I am delighted that today he was able to confirm the fact that he is a member of the Cabinet of the hon P W Botha. I also want to tell him—and he must go and tell his people this, too— that we are not against them as people, but that we are opposed to the system in which they are participating.
Alan Hendrickse himself does not agree with it either. [Interjections.]
In his speech today the hon the Minister of Finance said that the CP was bankrupt. To me it is very clear that the hon the Minister of Finance has bankruptcy on the brain. After all, he is the Minister of Finance of a bankrupt country; of a country that is technically bankrupt. [Interjections.]
Why do you say that?
Why do I say that? I say so because the Director-General of Finance has also said so himself. That is why I say so. [Interjections.] I am not telling an untruth here now. I am merely quoting the Director-General of Finance. Therefore, if South Africa were an individual—merely in view of what the Director-General of Finance said—it will have committed an act of insolvency and could therefore be sequestrated. [Interjections.]
Furthermore, the hon the Minister of Finance said this country is becoming increasingly poorer. The Government’s chief financial officer says that this country is bankrupt. The hon the Minister says this country is becoming increasingly poorer. What does the State do in this regard, however? Whilst the country is becoming increasingly poorer, this State carries on regardless with wasting and squandering money; just like a reckless spendthrift who has made himself bankrupt. [Interjections.]
I now wish to refer to another matter, Sir. In his speech on the occasion of the opening of this Parliament of the umpteenth Republic of South Africa, the State President said that events in the rest of the world have a definitive influence on our country and on our subcontinent. He then went on to say— and I quote:
The State President is therefore saying that foreign factors and the opinions of governments influence domestic decision-making. However, immediately after that, in the next paragraph of his speech, the State President says—and I quote him again:
That is what there must be no misunderstanding about. Now I just wonder which one of these two statements of the State President is the correct one. It is clear that they contradict one another. [Interjections.] Of course these two statements contradict one another. [Interjections.] I would like the second of these statements to be the correct one, viz that no one doubts the ability and determination of this country’s Government not to allow the rest of the world to prescribe to us. Unfortunately, however, I believe that it is his first statement that is the correct one, viz that South Africa is sensitive and that it is susceptible to the opinions of foreign powers. I want to tell you who let the cat out of the bag. It was President Reagan of the USA when he gave himself the credit for the release of certain detainees. Then there was a commotion in the henhouse and a fluttering in the dovecote. I do not wish to comment on the reaction it caused on that side. We on this side of the House therefore want to place on record our deepest concern about the visible consequences of the USA’s pressure on this Government. It is even going so far in certain circles—I want to tell the hon the Minister this—that he is being referred to as the Deputy Minister of American-South African Affairs. Mr Chester Crocker is being called the Minister, and the hon the Deputy Minister is known as the Vice-Minister. [Interjections.]
Because the State President asked about it in his opening speech, I want to tell him that no one in this country doubts the standpoint of this party in respect of the integrity and security of South Africa. There is no doubt about our loyalty. [Interjections.]
The Sunday Times published an article last year on the “Blunderers of the Year”. They then awarded the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs third place. He was overshadowed by Owen Horwood and Arthur Scargill, and was followed by Freddy Mercury and Christopher Atkins—whoever he may be. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister’s position is linked to the British Consulate episode, or the Coventry affair.
We are not going to repeat the facts here, since they are well-known. However, one fact that should be placed on record is that South Africans appeared in a British court for certain offences. They were fully under the control of that court. That is the important aspect of this matter. They were in custody, and in the hands of the police in the area of jurisdiction of that court. The detainees were released on bail by that court and permitted to leave the area of jurisdiction of the court only on the strength of a solemn undertaking and assurance by the SA Government that those persons would comply with the Conditions of bail. Then followed the so-called Coventry débâcle. Nowhere on last year’s Foreign Affairs calendar of political affairs did this Government’s inability to act firmly in a foreign impasse come to the fore so clearly. I want to make three statements in that regard. Firstly, I am of the opinion—as I said in my original statement—that the British are also guilty. They certainly also had their share in the débâcle. They are co-responsible and created a predicament and precedent for themselves. Secondly, we want to make it clear and place it on record that we sympathize with those involved. The Government’s breaking its word of honour to a court is the most shameful, infamous and humiliating deed imaginable. I ask the hon the Minister of Law and Order as an attorney, as someone who prosecuted, I also ask the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs as an attorney who was about to become a professor of law …
You must just not ask Chris.
No, I will not ask the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, because he will give a witty reply.
The major question is what example the Government is setting the citizens of South Africa, and particularly the young citizens of South Africa in respect of two things. One is how one honours one’s word, and secondly how one honours a bail undertaking to a court. [Interjections.]
I wish to conclude with a quotation or two, with as many as I have time for. I read Luke 16 verse 10:
What does Spencer say? He says:
Walter Lippman said the following:
When this party comes to power it will also once again restore the honour and credibility of a South African Government as soon as possible.
Mr Chairman, I regret to say that to begin with, the hon member for Soutpansberg only addressed insulting personal remarks to the hon Minister of National Education and subsequently to the hon Minister of Finance and the hon Minister of Foreign Affairs. [Interjections.] I think it is important that the hon member should act in this way because there is no merit in his argument. We listened to the hon member making a shabby attack on this side of the House concerning the influence foreign factors have on South Africa. For a moment I feared that the hon member would omit to mention that he is the hon member who appeared before a congress, bowed deeply and apologized to the international community for the conduct of this side of the House. It is that hon member who apologizes to the international community. It is important that we should take into account who this international community is that is being referred to. [Interjections.] I shall confine myself to the truth and elaborate on it further. The international community is none other than the United Nations that has imposed an arms embargo on this country. The international community is the community that seeks the downfall of this Government in different ways, while our friends have their hands full keeping up the ties they maintain with South Africa.
This is the international community before which the hon member bowed and apologized, but he did so without consulting Mr Jaap Marais. Moreover, he once again fails to perceive the essence of the argument. He refers to this attorney, to that hon lawyer, but not a single argument is advanced with regard to the principles of international law which are to be applied in this regard. And that hon member, as a lawyer, ought to know that it can be argued authoritatively that in terms of international law, South Africa was entitled to apply the principles of reprisal.
The hon member shouts “rubbish”, but he does not even argue the point when he has the opportunity to make a speech, issue a statement or address his congress. [Interjections.] That hon member must not argue with me. I advise him to go and discuss the matter with Mr Jaap Marais. I think Mr Jaap Marais could give him a few lessons on this. [Interjections.] I get the impression that when the hon members on that side of the House make such a noise, they do not like the tenor of my speech. [Interjections.]
Will the hon member for Kuruman please make fewer interjections. The hon member for Krugersdorp may proceed.
Those hon members are known for being careless with facts.
Have we ever falsified information documents, as the hon member for Benoni did?
Just a short time ago— only yesterday—the hon the leader of the CP intimated …
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it permitted for an hon member to ask whether hon members have ever falsified information documents as the hon member for Benoni has done?
Did the hon member say that?
Yes, Mr Chairman, I meant that the hon member for Benoni had falsified information documents. That is a known fact. I merely stated the fact.
The hon member must withdraw it.
Must I withdraw it?
Yes, Sir. [Interjections.] The hon member used the word “falsify” and it is unnecessary to discuss that as a point of order. The hon member must withdraw the words.
In any event, Mr Speaker, I have said it several times outside this House. I shall withdraw it unconditionally here.
The hon member for Krugersdorp may proceed.
Yesterday the hon the leader of the CP mentioned the fact that Chief Minister Buthelezi had said that one may not separate Black people in urban areas and Black people in national states. He used him as an authority to support the arguments advanced by that side of the House. None other than the hon member for Soutpansberg should have informed him better about the standpoints of Chief Minister Buthelezi. After all, it is the hon member for Soutpansberg who is better informed than anyone on that side of the House about the standpoints of Chief Minister Buthelezi. Why did he not inform the hon the leader of his party and say that the standpoint of Chief Minister Buthelezi is that he demands South African citizenship for all the Zulus under one central authority? That is the standpoint of Chief Minister Buthelezi. That section of the statement by Chief Minister Buthelezi that was raked up, however, is used to create an incorrect impression. [Interjections.] I am not yet finished with the hon member for Soutpansberg, if my friend from Randburg will just give me a chance to proceed. [Interjections.]
You have too much to say about Soutpansberg; you snoop around there. After all, I promised the people Land Bank loans there.
I am fully entitled to walk around in Soutpansberg. [Interjections.] I do not know why that makes the hon member so uncomfortable. I am not finished, and I am not going to let the hon member for Soutpansberg off the hook so easily. The hon member for Soutpansberg quotes from the speech of the State President. Then he interprets it as he likes and he reaches the conclusion that overseas factors exert an influence on this country and that that is dangerous to his people. That is what he says. However, what the hon member conveniently forgets once again is that this was the very subject being discussed when those hon members walked out of the caucus of the NP. What is more, they were not even present when answers to that motion were provided. When a motion concerning the interaction of foreign pressure and internal policy development was being discussed, those hon members were not even present to hear what answers were given to that motion. None other than the hon member for Soutpansberg saw fit to address this House in English, in his maiden speech as spokesman on foreign affairs of that party, the better to ensure that the foreign observers and representatives could understand exactly what he meant.
We do not live in isolation and we recognize that, but in the final instance it is Parliament that takes the decisions on the future of South Africa. What has happened now, however? When the Rev Hendrickse entered this Chamber, it was as if the CP was unnerved for a moment. [Interjections.] Anyone who was watching would agree that that was the case. And why were they unnerved? Because in the final instance it is this Parliament that must take the decisions about the future of South Africa. Hon members of the CP will have to pursuade none other than the Rev Allan Hendrickse that a homeland for the Coloureds is more acceptable and the only solution for their future. [Interjections.]
Those hon members can now conclude treaties, agreements and secret documents with every Coloured leader outside this House if they wish, but as long as the people serving in this House do not vote in favour of those decisions, no decision of that nature will be accepted in Parliament. [Interjections.]
After the hon member of the CP had entered this debate, I was worried for a moment that they would not reject in toto the speech on policy by the hon the State President. We therefore overcame the first stumbling block when those hon members rebelled against one of the standpoints of the hon the State President, because in doing so they gave credibility to the seriousness and the sincerity of this side of the House, that which we crave. We are convinced that the White electorate in South Africa will understand that the facts of South Africa are the determining factor in the formulation of policy as embodied in that speech. However, the hon members of the CP once again find themselves in the same atmosphere in which they found themselves before. Like Azapo they hastened to reject it. On the one hand there is White power and on the other there is Black power, and it is between these two poles that reasonable South Africans have to move in order to find solutions to the problems of South Africa.
Mr Chairman, may I please ask a question?
Mr Chairman, I am certainly not prepared to answer any questions by that hon member or any of his colleagues, either now or during the remainder of my speech.
The hon member may proceed.
On page 11 of his speech the hon the State President refers to the second decision on the basis of the investigation by the Special Cabinet Committee, and with regard to independence he states that “the Government does not intend forcing this on anyone”. It is evident from that decision that independence is still a goal, but that the Government does not intend forcing it on anyone. In contrast to the CP, we have a specific construction of self-determination. Those hon members merely pay lip service to self-determination. They deny the fact that self-determination assumes various forms, through which it may be channelled. However they decide how, where and when self-determination is to be demanded, and that is final and has to be accepted.
Furthermore, the hon members of the CP also rebel against mention being made of the fact that there will be “increasing co-operation with self-governing national states within collective structures”. Through their leader they rebel against this. Not a single member on that side of the House has ever told us how they see the structures in this country in the future. They speak about separation, and equality going hand in hand with the separation, but there must be lines of communication somewhere. What is their confederation going to look like? What will their commonwealth look like? How will they conclude treaties? [Interjections.]
In accordance with the NP’s manifesto of 1981.
The hon member for Brakpan says it will be according to the NP’s policy of 1981. Those hon members entered a process together with us step by step, in regard to the Black people too, and we can expect nothing but difficulty and vexation from them in this connection. When we introduced the 99-year leasehold system it was not permanent. If 99 years is not permanent in the life of any reasonable person, then I do not know what permanence means.
This side of the House is on the road to creating constitutional structures by negotiation in an atmosphere of confidence. We define negotiation as follows. The negotiations that we conduct are by definition. The CP’s definition is: “You work and you buy, and for the rest I decide. Hold your tongue.” The PFP’s definition of negotiation, on the other hand, is a national convention. However they are still unable to convene even the White people at such a national convention. No account whatever is taken of the danger that one could lose everything at such a national convention. If the Rand Daily Mail of 28 January states that the Government made a mistake, and tries to make the Government appear ridiculous because it does not want to have people who advocate violence at the conference table, they do so without taking into account the fact that one cannot simultaneously advocate evolutionary and revolutionary development. One cannot believe in the politics of negotiation and also in negotiation through the barrel of a gun. One cannot be both at the same time.
There are hon members in this Parliament today who have been members of the ANC and who have adopted known standpoints concerning violence. However, those hon members exercised a choice and decided that they would foreswear those methods, and they now follow the path of negotiation and evolution.
The caricature that the Official Opposition makes of consensus will in my opinion not detract at all from the reality of the fact that consensus and the politics of negotiation are the keystones of the future. The PFP, with their standpoint in this regard, are probably the most narrowminded people in this House. On the other hand, in this Parliament and in this dispensation, consensus means that one has to abandon one’s whims and caprices, one’s unjustified prejudices. One seeks solutions for the facts of South Africa and one does not seek other facts. One balances the feeling of security of minority groups and at the same time one accommodates the aspirations of other people. If one does so in an atmosphere of confidence, then one considers hurtful, humiliating aspects in an open minded way and one does so as the NP does it, in an informal fashion, as partners in a discussion on an equal footing. One dare not ever allow a situation of checkmate to develop. In such a situation one wins and loses arguments, but at the end of the negotiating day one does not walk out and say: “I won and you lost”, because there cannot be only one winner. All must be winners. Only then will one be able to negotiate successfully in a situation of this nature.
Finally, I want…
… to touch on one aspect by referring to the relevance of the hon members who are now shouting “hear, hear” so loudly. I think that hon members of the CP and the PFP are a threatened species, certainly as far as their activities in Parliament are concerned. The PFP and its ally, I am tempted to say its benchmate, the UDF, will have to realize that the future of South Africa is determined in this Parliament and that a boycott mentality is ichabod. The CP with its White power, as against Black power and Azapo, will have to realize that there are other people with interests and claims that will have to be accommodated and balanced. The sound-and-fury politics we conduct in this house, this rough-and-tumble mentality that prevails among us, is something we must not begrudge one another. We can have fun with one another in this way, but I am nevertheless of the opinion that the spirit we must encourage in South Africa, among the White voters in particular, is the spirit of goodwill that prevails in the lobbies and committee rooms of parliament nowadays. We dare not permit ourselves to be placed in a situation of checkmate. I should therefore like to support the amendment moved by the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development.
Mr Chairman, the hon and sometimes almost progressive member for Krugersdorp devoted virtually his entire speech, except for the last two minutes, to the CP. I must say I cannot blame him, coming from the West Rand as he does, and looking up at the gallery and seeing who was present there this afternoon. He talked about the politics of negotiation and I want to say that I agree, and I am sure we all agree, with many of the thoughts he expressed. I will return to some of those thoughts a little later.
He spoke of the PFP as an endangered species. I would like to say to him that I wish apartheid was an endangered species, because the problem is that apartheid, despite any new dispensation which we may be seeing, is still alive and well in this country.
I would like to refer to one point raised by the hon the Minister of Education and Culture who spoke of education and his department. He spoke about the rationalization of educational resources and of the better utilization of staff. I found that ironic, because the hon the Minister is part of a government and member of a Ministers’ Council which has fragmented education in South Africa into 18 different and separate departments. There are 18 departments of education, involving duplication of research, services, premises and facilities, and involving the wastage of resources and enormous expenditure on 18 separate bureacracies throughout South Africa. While I enjoyed his speech, I was amazed that the hon the Minister could not see the very flaws which are prevalent in the system which he perpetuates.
Yesterday the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, somewhat cautiously, welcomed the Address delivered by the State President last Friday. I associate myself with this attitude. Having sat in this House for some 11 years opposite the State President, I know and I believe that he has every intention of doing all in his power to implement his standpoints. However, it is not really the PFP’s comment which is critical at this moment. In other circles the speech of the State President has been met with mixed feelings and has been accorded mixed reviews, to say the least.
Those people who operate within what is called “the system” have by majority welcomed the initiatives taken by the State President. They have perceived it to be a major shift, a new direction, in Government policy. For instance, approval has come from some elements of industry and of business, from some homeland leaders, from community council officials, from administration bureaucrats and others. The most notable exception, of course, among the people working within the system, is Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, Leader of South Africa’s 6 000 000 Zulus.
However, the real and significant rejection has come from the White right and the Black left. The rejection by the White right was predictable and is easily understood. They see Government policies as heteric, integrationist, as a sell-out and as suicide. That is the standpoint of the hon members sitting over there. The State President must have anticipated this long before he drafted his speech. However, both he and we can do without the CP and the people on the right anyway. [Interjections.] The country is going to move foreward regardless of the White right.
The rejection, however, and the summary dismissal of the State President’s stated intention by the Black centre and left is far more disturbing and less easily understood. After all, is there not contained in the State President’s words a declaration of intent, an important change in ideology? Black leaders seem to think that that is not the case. They are sceptical. They distrust the Government and refuse to co-operate. The Black centre and the Black left are not an insignificant minority. The criticism which has been expressed is representative of many millions of South Africans. They are by no means lesser pressure groups. Unless the Government gains the support or at least the passive cooperation of most of those on the left who have criticized his speech, all the good intentions of the State President will come to nought. The State President will pay the price of reform without reaping its benefits or even achieving his goals.
What are the reasons for the lukewarm to hostile reaction which this new statement has evoked? I believe they are twofold. Firstly, the State President and all the members of the Cabinet have severely underestimated the degree of political polarization and antipathy which prevails in South Africa at present. This cannot be wished away and it must be taken into account.
What has caused this hostility and this tragic polarization which stares us in the face today? The answers, regrettably, are not hard to find. They relate to a 36-year past history of struggle and deprivation, more recently to a new Constitution of racial exclusivity, and to the brutal implementation of the pass laws. These attitudes of antipathy are connected with the economically selfish provisions of the Group Areas Act which is still operative. Standpoints of anger and rejection are closely linked to the forced removal from their established homes of millions of unrepresented South Africans and to the continued enforcement of racial discrimination in almost every field of life.
One of the most recent polarizing shifts in our lives in South Africa has been triggered by what was referred to by my colleague, the hon member for Wynberg, namely the ill-advised usage of the army in the invasion of the privacy of thousands of law-abiding Black South Africans in the ghettos in which they are forced to live. The hon the Minister of Law and Order, the authorizer of detentions without trial, must shoulder a grave responsibility for this heightening of tension and distrust.
Not bottom of the list is the economic chaos into which our country seem to be falling. If we examine expenditure incurred only in enforcing apartheid, for instance on the pass laws; on propping up corrupt regimes in Transkei, Ciskei, Venda; in creating useless money-consuming bureaucracies in South West Africa/Namibia and in other places; in the non-productive and cruel resettlement of human beings; on the cost of “Whites only” signs; in the financing of cash-gobbling homeland consolidation; and on race classification—if we just look at those few madnesses which I have mentioned, we are looking at an ideological bill well in excess of R6 000 million per year! While ordinary and innocent residents in Wendywood, in Sandton and in other places live in fear of their lives, the police are nowhere to be found. Why are they nowhere to be found? Because they are raiding the townships and they have been ordered to concentrate on influx control enforcement. I say this costs money, vast sums of money.
As a result our currency has become debased. There have been other factors involved, but our currency has nonetheless become debased, derided, and in the international context, virtually worthless. According to the Bureau of Economic Research of the University of Stellenbosch, our rand, which in 1948 was worth R1,99 in purchasing power, by 1981 was worth 31c and today barely touches the 24c mark. No matter what salary increases occur, they are, within months, eaten up as our ideological expenditure destroys the buying power of our currency. Do you wonder, Sir, at the disaffection of the masses and of their leaders? These problems must be addressed before we can expect real co-operation or real negotiation.
There is, however, a second and equally cogent reason for the lack of positive impact which the State president’s speech has elicited, and that relates to the content of the speech itself. I refer to the style of the projected negotiation set out therein. Here there are three points to make.
Firstly, a true offer to negotiate must be open-ended. Negotiation can never even commence between self-respecting leaders when one dominant party dictates the parameters within which that negotiation might take place. To set out non-negotiable NP principles in terms of which discussions may be held is to invite certain rejection. Surely the hon Minister sees that. The Government may well have its own agenda, it may well have its own bottom line, but right at the outset, to prescribe its policy as inviolate, as a principle within which negotiation might take place, is to ensure non-co-operation.
There is a second reason. In a real negotiation one party cannot choose the leaders with whom it will negotiate. If any credible result enjoying legitimacy is to be achieved, all the real leaders must be included—not just the homeland leaders, not just the ten-percenters in the Black municipal councils, not just those tame spokesmen who are trotted out by the SABC to project a cosy image on television. A call should go out to all who have significant followings to come and discuss, to talk, to negotiate a future for all of us in this country. We Whites cannot by “invitation”—and I quote—prescribe who the Black leaders are.
Here I wish to issue a word of sincere warning. Those who enjoyed, those who laughed at, the humiliation of Bishop Tutu and of Senator Edward Kennedy by Azapo should look beyond the superficial facade which was presented. The real left, the radical left, is not the Soweto Civic Association of Dr Motlana, nor even is it Fosatu, probably not even the UDF with whom most of us here disagree: The new left, the hard-line left, those who are not interested in negotiation …
The hon member must please not interrupt me. The hard-line left, those who are not interested in negotiation, those who are not interested even in the free enterprise system are represented in growing numbers by the ANC, by Azapo, by it’s governing body, the National Forum— those sort of people. Real negotiation does not require that the parties involved should like each other or even each other’s policies.
I mean, I might even talk to John Wiley sometimes, so long as he shuts up when I am talking. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister is entitled to his laughter; he has obviously done quite well out of the system. He is laughing all the way to Cabinet meetings. [Interjections.] He can thank his lucky stars that he and I had a fight a couple of years ago because that is why he is where he is now.
Real negotiation does not require that the parties involved like each other’s policies or even their personalities. Unless, however, the prickly nettle of true negotiation is bravely grasped, negotiation becomes, I honestly believe, a non-starter. In initiating or attempting negotiation which does not get off the ground, the Government will continue to lose to the right and will gain nothing from the left. I would like to illustrate this by giving the hon members a fictitious simile. It relates to the period just before or during the Anglo-Boer War. The British commander had issued a statement intended for reading by the Afrikaner leaders at the time. The statement as I have paraphrased it, reads along the following lines:
The question I now would like to put to the Cabinet, is this: What do they think the Afrikaner response would have been? [Interjections.] I want to tell them what it would have been. The hanskakies, the “hensoppers”, they might have come, but not a proud Kruger, not a Louis Botha, not a Hertzog, not a Smuts, a Joubert, a De La Rey or a Cronjé. Oh, no, no self-respecting Afrikaner leader would have risked his following by accepting such an invitation. I would have agreed with him. [Interjections.] I want to say that just as they did not want to risk their following then, so today no Black leader of any consequence will risk his following by accepting an invitation such as the one expressed in those terms in that speech.
The third and final reason relates to the terminology used. [Interjections.]
You are directly contradicting your leader.
I have nothing against the good intentions. I am pointing out … [Interjections.] I have got nothing against the good intentions. I welcome the new direction. I am glad that the Government is trying—fumblingly—to do something. What I am saying is that they should for heaven’s sake get their act together and do things properly. That is what I am saying.
The third and final reason relates to the terminology used. Here I want to get to the point that the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education has just made and ask why, in that document, are issues fudged? Why hedge on matters which are trite? Full home ownership must come. It must come now. What is there to negotiate about home ownership? Why try to hold back the tide? Why was home ownership for Blacks just not announced?
Forced removals is another example that I wish to cite. They must stop immediately. In toto. Every forced removal which is on the cards must be put to an end. This should have been announced. The cessation of influx control and the introduction of a policy of urbanization should have been announced. However, by dealing in an agonizing way, by fudging issues, one antagonizes the right and does not gain the left.
To sum up, the State President’s speech, if it is translated into action, is to be welcomed. It possibly augurs a new beginning. However, if the Cabinet wishes to receive a really positive response from those it has sought to address it must do much more to create a climate of goodwill in which negotiation can succeed. This is a time not to pass more laws but to abolish laws. If we do nothing else in this session of Parliament let us begin to clear the decks of the discriminatory legislation which litters our Statute Book.
Secondly, send out a call—do not say that people will be invited—to Black South Africa to bring forward their leaders to talk to Government on an open agenda with no strings attached. Before they come let them know that the worst aspects of apartheid will soon be grievances of the past.
I would like to end on a personal note. As a South African I am ashamed and sick and tired of seeing visiting politicians and critics wiping their feet on our country before they go back to their own countries. This Government must move at once by removing poverty and discrimination, by creating equal opportunities for all and by restoring the rule of law to make such actions and behaviour impossible.
Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in speaking after the hon member for Sandton. He raised a few interesting points. I agree, although for different reasons, with what he said about politicians from outside who come to wipe their feet on us here in South Africa. However, the hon member and I will talk about that later.
You should say thank you first.
Yes, I should like to thank the hon member for Bryanston for the help he offered me. He now looks like a picture from a children’s Bible. I want to tell him that he should behave like a respectable father and not like Father Horrible which he can sometimes be. I want to thank the hon member sincerely for the help he offered me. [Interjections.]
I should also like to pay tribute on this occasion to my predecessor, Dr Koornhof.
Did he help you in Primrose?
Yes, he helped me in Primrose and he left me a good legacy. [Interjections.] I shall come to the CP shortly. They must just allow me to pay tribute to my predecessor first. Then I shall come to the CP and then we can all have our say. I should like to have it placed on record today that I am very grateful for what Dr Koornhof did for Primrose, the East Rand and for South Africa. For a very long time he handled a difficult portfolio, probably one of the most difficult portfolios in South Africa. He was often denigrated and ridiculed, but with the qualities he possessed, he handled that difficult portfolio to the best of his ability. I wish his successor well because he will inherit some of those problems.
I also want to convey my thanks to the voters of Primrose for having kept their heads and returned the NP to Parliament. [Interjections.] I should now like to come to the Treurnichts, the Tutus, the Boesaks, the Boshoffs, the CPs and the ANCs. Firstly, I want to address may remarks specifically to the CPs. I want to reassure the hon member for Bryanston that I shall not deal with him this time. The two of us can continue our personal discussion at a later stage. What does the CP want when an election is being held? What do they want over and above the seat? I know we all want the seat, but what else? The behaviour which I saw there testified to many other things which are not worthy of South Africa, I believe. [Interjections.] I want to make certain remarks in this connection and to address them to the hon members of the CP, especially the hon member for Rissik, who has so much to say. I noticed that they were keeping the hon member for Rissik and the hon member for Jeppe away from Primrose. They did not go there, because they are an embarrassment to that party. Or perhaps they were hatching intrigues, something in which they specialize. I should like to ask them very honestly whether that is the level at which we are going to fight elections in the future. If that is the level, I foresee a number of problems for this country, particularly as far as by-elections for the House of Assembly are concerned. Two by-elections are taking place on 1 May this year. I certainly hope that we will not descend to the same level to which the CP descended during the recent by-election.
The hon member may well say “Oh shame”. I feel the same as the hon member; it is just a pity that he did not do so when he went around gossiping and deceiving in Primrose. That is the point.
The hon member must withdraw the word “deceiving”.
I withdraw it.
You could at least call me “Mister”. [Interjections.]
I would really not stoop that low. I will not call the hon member “Mister”. [Interjections.]
I want to ask the hon member Mr Theunissen, who says that we did badly, why he does not rather resign and fight a by-election for a change. After all, he has a great deal to say; why is he not courageous enough to resign and fight a by-election? He has often worked in Primrose, after all. In the past people have often told me to resign and fight a by-election. I then did so. Now I am asking the hon member Mr Theunissen to do the same. After all, he is a “Mister”.
I now want to come to the hon member for Waterberg, the hon leader of the CP. Why does he allow his colleagues in his party to do with the truth in a by-election what they did in Primrose? I do not want to talk to him about his indecision and his concealment of his policy or about vagueness so that one has to look for what his policy is. I do not want to speak to him about that; that is his right. However, I want to point out to the hon the leader of the CP that he has a very serious problem. The hon the Minister of Communications and of Public Works referred to it. I want to give the hon the leader of the CP a friendly tip. He must look around. The people who made such blunders in the NP at that time are blundering him out. The hon member for Soutpansberg challenged the leader of the CP here this afternoon
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
Yes, the hon member may ask me a question, since he was not present at any of my meetings to ask me a question.
Could the hon member tell me whether the statement he has just made, viz that my hon leader is being blundered out, was ascertained by eavesdropping?
There is no need for us to do that. There are two answers to the question. The first important point is that we know the hon members. The second important point linked to that is that the candidate who opposed me in Primrose has already said that the hon the leader of the CP should have acted more dynamically and not hedged so much on standpoints, since they could have won the by-election there. [Interjections.] It is being blazoned abroad. It is therefore not necessary to make use of eavesdropping. Serious questions are being asked in Primrose. It is therefore not a problem.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
No. I am not prepared to listen to stupid questions from the hon member for Kuruman or the hon member for Jeppe. Neither now, nor later. [Interjections.]
I am telling you that you are telling lies.
Order! The hon member for Kuruman must withdraw those words.
Sir, that hon member has just told a lie and I am not prepared to withdraw my words.
If the hon member is not prepared to withdraw his words, he must withdraw from the Chamber for the remainder of the day’s sitting.
[Whereupon the hon member withdrew from the Chamber.]
I have got rid of one of them now, and there are still 17 left! [Interjections.] I should like to try and get rid of more of them. I want to tell the hon the leader of the CP that to me, “CP” stands for “cocoon party”. The hon member must come out of that cocoon. His own colleagues are no longer protecting him. He should consider that for a moment. Primrose is very safe, since the CP exerted all their efforts, including R120 000 and they were unable to win the seat. [Interjections.] If ever there were a safe seat in this country at this stage—I can say this with every confidence— it is Primrose. [Interjections.] All those hon members of the CP wore out the soles of their shoes to canvass votes. It was no use, however. [Interjections.] I should now like to come back to the hon member for Waterberg. I must honestly say that he did not participate in this dreadful gossiping campaign. I want to tell him in all honesty that he must please look over his shoulder. I would not like to see him being overthrown as leader of the CP at this stage already. He has already been overthrown in the Transvaal. He must not be overthrown again. [Interjections.] I now want to put a question to the hon the leader of the CP as well. On Friday, after the State President had made a very important speech here, the hon the leader of the CP stormed out of here and went and proclaimed outside this House that what the State President had said was supposedly a blueprint for the destruction of everything in this country. He did this in accordance with the same tactics the CP pursued in Primrose. There they also proclaimed that the end of everything was in sight. However, we are still sitting here today. South Africa is still on its way. I therefore want to know from the hon the Leader of the CP how he wants to implement his policy; that policy of his which he is still concealing in vagueness and woolliness. How does he want to implement that policy if he is not prepared to speak to people about it? [Interjections.] He criticizes the Government because it is prepared to speak to people; because I was prepared to say from a platform that I believe it is correct to enter into dialogue with all peace-loving leaders in South Africa. I was critcized on that score and labelled a liberal by the CP. I am quite satisfied to accept that criticism if that is their definition of a liberal.
However, I want to know from the hon the leader of the CP how he is going to seek peace in South Africa. [Interjections.] I am putting the question to him once again. How is he going to seek peace in South Africa if he is not prepared to speak to people? He must climb out of his cocoon for a change and get in touch with the realities of South Africa.
Another question I want to put to the hon the leader of the CP is the following. It concerns the ridiculous statement he issued with regard to the problems on the East Rand. If we were to remove all Black people from the East Rand, what would become of the industries there? That is one of the most prosperous areas in South Africa. Where does that prosperity come from? That prosperity is brought about not only by White hands, but also by Black hands. There are twice as many Black people settled on the East Rand than there are Whites. Forget about the Coloureds and the Asians in that area for a moment. The hon the leader of the CP wants to remove them from there, however. Where does he want to remove them to? That is what we wanted to know from him at that time. All he said then, however—and he persisted with that throughout that by-election campaign—is that we have been handed over to P W Botha and his Black integration. He must defend those statements of his now.
Since I am speaking about this now, I want to take the matter further. I want to ask the hon the leader of the CP to speak to the wives of hon members of his party and ask them not to go around gossiping that the aged are going to be sharing old-age homes with Black people. They must stop claiming that schools are going to be integrated. That is a typical HNP tactic of theirs. [Interjections.] The HNP are the CP’s partners. I have no problem with that. However, it is not necessary for them to violate the truth together with the HNP. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member Mr Theunissen entitled to shout at the hon member who is speaking now: “You are a disgrace” (Jy is ’n skande)?
Order! Did the hon member Mr Theunissen use those words?
Mr Chairman, I said: “It is a disgrace” (Dit is ’n skande). The hon member for Krugersdorp is even incapable of hearing. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member may proceed.
Mr Chairman, I now wish to conclude because I should like to afford the Transvaal leader of my party, who is going to speak after me, sufficient opportunity to make his speech. I would just like to ask hon members of the CP to refrain from their tactics of casting suspicion and politics of lies. There are by-elections in the offing. Let us see what will happen in those by-elections. Let us see whether the CP is at least courageous enough to refrain from this tactic of theirs. Let them state their policy and their standpoints and refrain from casting suspicion. All they are trying to do is to cast suspicion on the leaders of the National Party and break down their image in the eyes of the voters.
Finally, I want to address a special word to the editor of the newspaper published by the CP. I think that the statement of the learned judge that time that this man is a dishonest person is quite correct. His newspaper proves the truth of that statement.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member for Primrose entitled to say that an hon member of the CP—and we know to whom he is referring … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Rissik is making a point of order.
Mr Chairman, I was asking whether the hon member for Primrose has the right to claim that what a judge said with regard to the hon member of the CP concerned is correct. I would suggest that you order the hon member for Primrose to repeat his words, Mr Chairman.
Order! Would the hon member for Primrose say whether he was referring to a particular hon member of this House when he made that remark?
Mr Chairman, I shall withdraw my statement in order to give the Transvaal leader of my party sufficient time to make his speech. We shall discuss this again, however.
Order! The hon member for Primrose must withdraw his statement unconditionally.
Mr Chairman, I withdraw it unconditionally.
Mr Chairman, I want to congratulate the new, young hon member for Primrose most sincerely on his maiden speech in his new capacity in this House. He took precisely 10 minutes, and got rid of one of the stars of the CP who had to leave the House because in a few sentences he gave this House an indication of what the poor voters of Primrose had to endure from the CP. With a single stroke of the pen he effectively exposed the vulture politics of the CP in this House. Primrose rejected those vulture politics, just as every constituency in the Transvaal will reject them during the next general election. [Interjections.]
In the few minutes until the House adjourns I want to make one factual correction in respect of a statement the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition made in his introductory speech yesterday. When he said at the outset that he did not intend misleading the House in quoting statistics and then said in the second paragraph of his speech: “Indien daar aan my uitgewys kan word dat my statistiek foutief is, sal ek dit beken en aanvaar”, I immediately accepted the challenge and went and looked at his statistics.
I discovered the surprising fact that he informed this House that we waste the enormous sum of R78 million per annum on population registration and race classification. We really did work through that budget with a fine toothcomb. He says that that is in one year, and we added the previous seven years’ total budget for the entire division, of which this is a subdivision. We then arrived at R29 million. [Interjections.]
When we went into the matter even further, I realized that the hon the leader had rightly made provision for errors—he is not sure of the abilities of his study and research department here. They are not even capable of putting a comma in the right place. The total amount for the total population registration plus a number of other services was R7,8 million. [Interjections.]
In all seriousness, what is the impression the hon the leader is creating? He concedes—he pointed this out to me himself after I had brought this to his attention— that it is only R7,8 million. However, what is the impression he wanted to create by saying that it is a waste at all? He wanted to create the impression that we spend large sums of money on race classification, that we abuse taxpayers’ money for this purpose.
No, I say each time it takes place.
Each time it takes place? When does race classification take place?
When one is born.
Should we not have registration of births?
No, that is not the point.
I want to give the hon the leader the assurance that in the registration of births not a scrap of energy is spent on race classification. There is one question that determines the race group, and it is recorded as such in the register. Then it is settled.
No, it is not settled.
It is settled. The only other thing is re-classification, and a total of five officials throughout the entire country are involved in that.
I said that that is the case. I had it investigated. The total cost per annum linked to re-classification—I asked my department to calculate salaries, everything—amounts to R94 000. [Interjections.] However, this House is being given the wrong impression that we are supposedly spending millions of rands on something like this. [Interjections.] The population registration division is part of an age-old process. Every country, from Caesar’s time, had people register and it is an essential element in any orderly government to know who has been born, who has died, who is where, who is allowed to vote, and so on. A wrong impression has been created; I think I have succeeded in rectifying it.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at