House of Assembly: Vol2 - THURSDAY 31 JANUARY 1985
laid upon the Table:
To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committee, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.
Mr Speaker, I should like to deal today with the issue of the so-called “Coventry Four” and with the events at the British Consulate in Durban last year, an issue which was raised not by me but by opposition speakers. I think I should start by quoting a few newspaper captions in order to indicate the emotion which characterized this matter at the time:
Disastrous and irresponsible.
We have lost our credibility.
South Africa’s word will never be accepted by anyone again.
Serious breach of trust.
We have harmed South Africa’s international relations.
South Africa has injured itself.
Grave danger for South Africa’s image.
Come clean on Coventry Four.
“Send them back,” says PFP. The word of honour and integrity of the SA Government at stake.
Crisis point in SA-UK ties.
Reprisals against Britain slammed.
Bid to delay arrival of new British envoy.
Britain takes hard line.
Botha’s tit-for-tat heads for disaster.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
That, Mr Speaker, I think, is a fair summary of the emotional outburst by various members of opposition parties and their Press at the time. [Interjections.]
I believe all hon members of this House will agree when I say one cannot debate this issue without recourse to the facts and to the legal principles. We are not concerned with political party policies but with legal principles as accepted by all civilized nations of the world. I am not talking about the others. If the PFP would like to support the others it is entirely their own affair. I am talking about recognized legal principles.
Let us look now at the purpose and the object of the doctrine of reprisal—not my own opinion but that of internationally reputed experts in this field. Firstly, what does Walker in his Oxford Companion to Law— not his Oxford Companion to PFP Policy— write? In the Oxford Companion to Law he states:
Secondly, I quote from Kelsen’s Principles of International Law:
The sphere of interest of another State includes the law courts of that State. I have now dealt with the purpose of reprisal; let us look at the definition of reprisal. I quote from Akehurst’s A Modern Introduction to International Law:
I quote from Walker again:
I now quote from the Naulilaa Case, Arbitral Awards:
Order! Will the hon the Minister answer a question from the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central?
No Sir, I have too little time. When they spoke I accorded them all the courtesies required in this House. I am dealing now with international legal principles, and I demand from the hon members of that party the courtesy I extended to them.
Is it discourteous to ask a question? [Interjections.]
That last quotation comes from a judgment from a case called the Naulilaa case. My next quotation also comes from Kelsen:
I have dealt with the purpose and the definition of an act of reprisal, not mine, but those of international legal experts. Let us now look at the requirements for an act of reprisal. Firstly, I quote again from Akehurst:
The second quotation comes from Brierly’s The Law of Nations:
Thirdly, it is stated in the Naulilaa case:
It must therefore be clear, Sir, from the purpose, definition and requirements of an act of reprisal as laid down clearly, firmly and categorically in international law, that South Africa acted completely within the limits laid down by the international legal principles which I have just quoted. The only hon member of the Official Opposition who came near to an understanding of this issue said that the matter had to be resolved in terms of international law. Unfortunately, that was where he stopped. He then tried to draw a distinction by saying that there could simply not be a connection between our refusal to return the four men to Britain to stand trial and the British violation of clear international legal principles. I would like to know on what basis he claims that. I invite the hon member to support his point of view by one authority on international law. I have given my authorities, and I invite him to do the same. He will have the opportunity to do so today or tomorrow. Is that not fair enough? That is all I am asking, no more and no less.
*Let us go on. Let us now examine the facts, and the facts are not in dispute. On 13 September 1984, it was still the firm intention of the South African Government that the four should return to Britain, and I can prove that, because after their initial return to South Africa in May 1984, they were sent back to Britain in June and subsequently returned to South Africa again. Why should we have let them go back to Britain to appear in court if we had been planning not to honour our undertaking? Surely such an allegation is nonsensical. I have the proof that they did go back at one stage.
I come back now to September. At about 11h00 on the day concerned I learnt that a number of South Africans had taken refuge in the British Consulate at about 09h00. I phoned the British Embassy. They had not informed me of this; I phoned them to inquire whether it was true. They came back and told me that it was true, that they were negotiating with them and that they hoped to persuade them to leave the consulate by lunch-time. I replied that that was fine, that it was in accordance with international law that they should leave the consulate and that the South African Government would welcome it.
On 14 September, Mr Rifkind, a junior British Minister in the Foreign Office, made a public statement which amounted to a violation of international law. He said that Britain would not force them to leave the consulate. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a violation of international law. Once again, it is not necessary to accept my view of the matter.
†Let us look at what Professor Gerald Draper said in a BBC interview on 25 September 1984 when he was questioned by Sir Robin Day, a BBC commentator. Professor Draper is a former professor of law at Sussex University and he was described by Sir Robin Day—not by me—as a leading expert in international law and practice. Sir Robin Day asked Him:
Professor Gerald Draper:
Why do the hon members on the other side not say “hear, hear” at this stage? [Interjections.] Why do they not laugh at a British professor who is described as a leading expert?
Let me continue. Sir Robin Day subsequently asked:
Note that he asked “weeks” and not “months”; eventually they were there for three months. Sir Robin Day asked: “How many weeks changes the position?” Professor Draper:
This is not what this Government has said but the words of a former professor at Sussex University, described by the BBC as a leading expert in international law.
Let me continue. What was the response of a very important Western government, a government for which the PFP has great respect and whose views they constantly quote in this House? What was the reaction of that government when the legal representatives of the six in the British consulate requested that they be given sanctuary in the consulate of that government? This was their response:
Can one imagine a clearer, a more direct and a more categoric repudiation of the point of view of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and the chorus who yelled and cried with him?
*I do not think there is any need for us to argue about the facts and legal principles any further. Instead of those emotional outbursts which were aped and echoed by their Press, I want to say here today that they had an opportunity to take a stand in the interests of South Africa on a non-political matter, based on correct principles of international law. However, they once again failed to make use of that opportunity, just because they were too lazy to look up the position in international law, or because it is simply in their nature to side against South Africa in any matter of this kind.
I come now to the surprising conduct of the hon member for Soutpansberg. [Interjections.] Can one believe that he of all people, having had a set-to with Mr Jaap Marais about this very matter, should say the following in this House:
[Interjections.] They say “Hear, hear”. If I were to say, and I put it to you, that in the given situation, it was probably the most appropriate counter-measure not to extradite the four to Britain, would they also say “Hear, hear”? Because that is Mr Jaap Marais’ opinion. Is Mr Jaap Marais dishonourable, too? Should he also be ashamed of himself? Should Mr Jaap Marais also apologize to the international community, as the hon member for Soutpansberg said? Who are the members of the international community to whom the hon member for Soutpansberg refers?
Bishop Tutu did this; he apologized. Then the hon member for Soutpansberg followed suit. Why should we apologize when South Africa has acted entirely within the norms of international law?
For how many years have other countries of the world insisted in the UN, when it came to the implementation of international law, to legal principles and the correct interpretation of the UN Charter, that these things did not apply to this country? One set of legal rules applies to the rest of the world, and a different set applies to South Africa. When it comes to the violation of a legal obligation by Britain, it is in order, but when we respond with an act of reprisal, it is suddenly regarded as a violation of a sacred pledge. It is inviolable. However, Britain may violate solemn undertakings in several respects. Britain may violate the Viennese Convention on Consular Relations. Britain solemnly pledged that the consulate would not be used as a place of refuge for fugitives. It solemnly pledged that the consulate would not be used for propaganda purposes against South Africa. It solemnly pledged that the consulate would not accommodate people who slept there and agitated against the South African Government there. Britain solemnly pledged that the Consulate would not be abused in this way. That is in order, it seems. There is something superior about another country’s right. There is something inferior about South Africa’s claim to the enforcement of the law. I cannot understand it.
But the hon member for Waterberg went through this exercise himself. [Interjections.] Surely he can remember it. The hon member for Waterberg said at the meeting of his Congress on 26 October:
Then he discovered, however, that two days before, Mr Jaap Marais had said that the appropriate action was not to return the four. Mr Marais supported the Government. He said that it was right, that we should not have extradited the four.
When the hon member for Waterberg heard this, he said in George on 30 October that he had adopted his initial standpoint before he knew who the four were and how they had been treated. [Interjections.] Then he went on to say that he was prepared, in the light of subsequent events and of Britain’s attitude, to say that it was justifiable to have two views about the demand that the four should be sent back. I take it that the one view is that they should be sent back and that the other view is that they should not be sent back. [Interjections.]
I want to put a very friendly, a very simple question to the hon member for Waterberg. Which one of the two views is infamous? Which one is shameful?
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I ask whether the hon the Minister cannot show the hon the Leader of the CP the courtesy of looking at him while he is talking to him. [Interjections.]
I shall look at him with pleasure. I do not mind at all. However, I have never heard of an hon member telling another hon member whom he should look at in this House. After all, there are far from attractive ladies on the gallery.
Order! I must point out to the hon member for Kuruman that the point that he has just raised is not a point of order, and he is perfectly aware of that fact. The hon the Minister may proceed.
Sir, when you hear a yelp, you know the shot has gone home. Those hon members say that I am talking nonsense, but if they get so confused when they are hit by nonsense, I should like to see what they would look like if they were hit by something more substantial.
With that statement, the hon member for Waterberg also completely repudiated the hon member for Soutpansberg. There can be no doubt about that, unless there can be two views about that too, of course. Nevertheless, Mr Jaap Marais’s response to this was that he welcomed the change in the standpoint adopted by the hon member for Waterberg. He went on to say that he was glad to learn that they now agreed. Mr Marais’s joy was short-lived, however, for on 1 November, the hon member for Waterberg attacked us again. When Mr Jaap Marais was subsequently asked for his reaction, his words were: “I can no longer understand what the standpoint of Dr Andries Treurnicht on the Coventry Four is.” No wonder the standpoint of the hon member for Waterberg was described in the following words in a cartoon on 8 November:
[Interjections.] The position is not that they or the PFP or the UN or the OAU or anyone else thought that South Africa had acted in conflict with the law in this connection; on the contrary they have now been caught. They have been caught in their own trap; they have come full circle. The PFP was caught because of its lack of knowledge, and I believe that we can use this matter to show that these parties had an opportunity to strike a positive blow for South Africa within the provisions of international law as supported by recognised specialists and experts in this field. Mr Marais was prepared to do that. Although he disagrees with me politically, he was prepared to do that. Why were those hon members not prepared to do it? They must answer that question. They are sitting in the dock, not I. They have lost face, not we. Their standpoint was disastrous for South Africa. The truth is that there has been an increase in British exports to South Africa. The British Ambassador said on television: “Business as usual.” So there are no problems. Sir Geoffrey Howe recently adopted a very favourable standpoint in Harare with regard to our position to Cuban withdrawal from Angola.
Everything is proceeding as usual, except in the case of Mr Rifkind, who has put his foot in it again. When I paid a visit to that same gentleman more than a year ago and asked him to give me a model of an African state which the British would wish us to emulate, he said: “Nigeria. They have just held elections; federation will work beautifully.” My comment on that was: “I give them two months”. A month later there was a coup d’état in Nigeria, and I wanted to-send him a telegram, apologizing for the fact that I had been a month out in my calculations. [Interjections.] This is the type of man on whom those hon members rely. They refuse to rely on the Drapers, on professors, on lawyers, and on people who are legally disciplined. Merely from an political-emotional point of view they prefer a standpoint against South Africa. However, it is a mark against them, a mark which we are going to hold against the PFP, although, in my opinion, it is not a mark we can really hold against the CP, because this is simply the way they are.
Mr Speaker, today we have had evidence in this House of the style and the manner in which this whole consulate affairs has been handled. It is not just the substance of what the Government did but it is the way in which the hon the Minister handled this matter that has done damage to South Africa. The hon the Minister made many protestations. He started off by throwing away lines like “throwing stones at each other’s houses”; “each of us having our pound of flesh” and cannot send people to Britain to stand trial and “to go to prison in that miserable climate.” This was the kind of phraseology coming, not from a backbencher, not from another Cabinet Minister, but from this Minister who is in charge of the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. [Interjections.] What kind of inference must the world draw about South Africa’s motives when in a statement he says:
Mr Chairman, he said, how could you expect my Government to send them back? Firstly, the weather was miserable in Britain and secondly the four were not criminals at any rate.
The hon the Minister can posture, he can clown, he can have television exposure but nothing can hide the simple fact that the South African Government has broken its word of honour. [Interjections.] That is the essential thing. Nothing can change the fact that the hon the Minister shifted his ground. He is going on the legalistic arguments but they were much weaker before when he spoke about the conventional interpretation of the Vienna Convention. In fact, South Africa did not even ratify the Vienna Convention. It is not binding on us. [Interjections.] The simple fact is that nothing that this hon Minister can do can undo the damage that he and his Government have already done. [Interjections.] Nothing which this hon Minister says, will persuade us or South Africa or the rest of the world that there was any valid parallel between the British Government’s action in the Consulate and the South African Government’s action of breaking its word of honour given to a judge in a court. Even if the British Government were wrong in law then we still say that this Government was stupid to have taken the action it did. The law did not say to the hon the Minister that this was the action he should take. This was the action he elected to take. We say that for a South African Government to give its word to a court of law and then deliberately to break that word of honour is to bring the whole of South Africa into discredit. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister knows that this is not only a legalistic matter, it is also a political matter. The harm is not done by the law; it is done by the political stupidity of that government. [Interjections.] On the one hand it had to do with people charged in an open court of law and on the other hand it had to do with people who, on the strength of a ministerial order, were to be held beyond the jurisdiction and the protection of a court of law. It was seen that the one had to do with the process of honouring the rule of law and the other had to do with the process of a denial of justice and a negation of the rule of law. That is how it was seen, and the Government can carry on with its post facto legalistic arguments but it cannot undo the damage which was done to South Africa.
The State President, in his Opening Address, said:
However, while the State President is exhorting us to get involved in exports the rest of the Government is, in fact, sabotaging our attempts to break into the world community. That is what is happening. We believe that quietly at night the hon the Minister will realize that he has dropped one of the worst clangours that any Foreign Minister has ever dropped in the history of South Africa. [Interjections.] I believe that he will realize it. He can laugh now, but he will go down, not as the man who did something wrong in terms of policies, but as the man who was identified with the breaking of South Africa’s word of honour.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has said that the policies of this Government are destroying our economy and the quality of life of the South African people. This can be measured in relation to our foreign relationships. When our foreign relationships are good, our dollar/rand value goes up; when our foreign relationships are bad, they go down because there is a direct relationship between our prestige and status in the international community and the strength of our economy in the international sphere. It is a good thing—and I see the hon the Minister smiles—if there has been a change because of certain interpretations of the State President’s speech which people see as positive. It is important. Foreign policy is extraordinarily important, and that is why we in these benches view with a sense of disturbance and upset the fact that the Nkomati Accord, which only 9 months ago seemed to herald a great new era and hold such hopes for the future, appears to be in a very brittle state. I want to make it quite clear that we in the PFP hope that the Nkomati Accord will survive the pressures of the present time and will remain something of value for peace and stability in South Africa. It will be a tragic irony if it collapses, not because of any fickleness or inadequacy of the Government of Mozambique but because of the consequences of the policies and actions of the government of South Africa. I want to paraphrase the reasons for the Nkomati Accord being in jeopardy. The Mozambique Government achieved what the South African Government expected it to do. It put an end to ANC activity in Mozambique directed at targets in South Africa. However, the South African Government has not achieved what the Mozambique government expected it to achieve, namely to bring to an end the terrorist activities of Renamo in Mozambique. That was expected to be the consequence of the accord. This leads me to the question why the Mozambique Government expects the South African Government to be able to bring Renamo’s terrorist activities to an end. The reason is clear. In spite of denials across the floor of the House year after year and despite the obfuscation at a later stage, it became clear that in the pre-Nkomati days the South African Government supported, nurtured and encouraged Renamo in its terrorist activities against the Government and people of Mozambique as part of its policy of destabilization of that country.
I do not want to read the reports and accounts which confirm what happened in the past. We in these benches warned the Government repeatedly not to engage in acts of destabilization against neighbouring countries and especially not by supporting terrorist movements. We did this for two reasons. First of all, we believe it is disgraceful that any South African Government should aid and abet organizations that were engaged in acts of terror and violence against citizens of another country. Secondly, we warned this Government that whatever the short-term advantages of such a policy might be its consequences in the longer term would be disastrous for South Africa. The Government, through the State President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said that since the Nkomati Accord it is not in any way helping Renamo. This was said on behalf of the SADF by Gen Viljoen. We accept those denials. However, they beg the issue. The fact is that Renamo is an organization which, if it was not born out of South Africa, was supported and strengthened by this Government for years prior to the Nkomati Accord. The Government has now lost its grip over this organization and it is now a case of the tail wagging the dog. Recently two British citizens resident in South Africa were murdered by a Renamo gang while travelling only a few kilometres outside the South African border. What an irony! What a tragedy if the Nkomati Accord were to fall apart or if young South Africans were to be sucked into a war in the Mozambiquan bush and South African lives were to be lost because of the stubborn shortsightedness of a South African Government! The Government has said that it will take action against anyone in South Africa who assist Renamo in any way. So far so good. What we want to know, however, is what action it has taken to prevent this. Is it keeping the activities of known sympathizers of Renamo in South Africa under surveillance? Has it withdrawn residence permits or deported foreign citizens who are known supporters of Renamo? Has it refused entry to South Africa to persons who have links with Renamo? Has it blocked funds so that Renamo or Renamo supporters have no access to them?
There is a lesson to be learnt from the Government’s support of this terrorist organization in the pre-Nkomati days. Today we warn the Government once again. Do not go in for destabilization activities in any of our neighbouring states. Do not back terrorist organizations in other states. We warn that any attempts to destabilize other countries will in turn turn against us in South Africa and in due course will lead not only to the loss of lives but to the destruction of the economy and the quality of life of our own people.
In his address the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition said that we have to rearrange priorities. This Government must not simply cut back on the average; it actually has to re-examine its political priorities. In the past this Government made political priorities of expenditure at a time of financial plenty, and it is carrying on spending as if those circumstances still prevail. The priorities of Government spending today were in fact priorities determined when it looked as though we in South Africa had a lot of money. This Government has not simply to cut back on the average but re-examine its priorities, not only because there is not enough money to spend but because the Government in South Africa, and we Whites, are coming face to face with the fact that South Africa is not an affluent First World country. It is, however, a country with potential which is largely Third World, in which future peace and stability and progress require that we direct a far greater share of our national resources to the underprivileged Third World sector in our population than we have ever done in the past.
As far as priorities are concerned, there is one area of Government activity which South Africa can no longer afford. It cannot afford it in money terms, it cannot afford it in terms of men or material, and it cannot afford it in terms of lost international goodwill. I refer to South Africa’s continued presence in South West Africa/Namibia. This issue has been raised on many occasions in the past in this House. A year ago there was a debate on this subject during the no-confidence debate. On that occasion the Prime Minister made an important speech. Fascinatingly enough, that speech seemed to be reinforced by the fact that, two weeks later, the Government released Herman Toivo Ja Toivo, a key Swapo leader, from imprisonment in South Africa. There was this speech and there seemed to be this reinforcing action.
What did the Prime Minister say, inter alia? He said three very important things and made them abundantly clear:
The Republic of South Africa has never regarded South West Africa as an integral part of its territory.
We do not claim sovereignty over the territory.
Secondly, the Prime Minister stressed the heavy burden which South West Africa had become on South Africa. He spoke of “a heavy price in material, in international condemnation and in the lives of our young men.” He gave figures relating to the 1983-84 financial year:
R400 to R500 million was spent on security and the protection of the people of South West Africa.
Loans were guaranteed to the order of R690 million in South West Africa.
The Prime Minister went on to say this:
He added that he had told the leaders of the internal parties in South West Africa that:
The Prime Minister concluded by saying:
Another year has gone by since then. However, none of the conditions which the Prime Minister laid down for South Africa to be willing to continue to bear the burden of staying in South West Africa have been met. In fact, many of the conditions have become worse and the costs to South Africa have escalated.
If one looks across the border at the territory of South West Africa, one finds that the economic situation has deteriorated in the face of the unresolved conflict and the uncertainty about the territory’s political future. The social fabric of the society in South West Africa is under increasing strain. There are indications of increasing restiveness and resentment amongst the people of South West Africa as far as South Africa’s continuing military and administrative presence in that territory are concerned.
We in these benches believe that in the interest of both South Africa and the people of South West Africa the time has come for South Africa to get out of South West Africa. To that end we say to the Government that they should, without any further delay, announce a specific timetable for the commencment of the Namibian independence process in line with UN Resolution 435.
It will be pointed out that the issue of the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola has not yet been fully resolved. This may be so, but this Government must be careful not to paint itself and this country into a corner over the Cuban troop issue. We believe that getting rid of the Cuban troops in Angola is and must remain an important regional strategic objective. The PFP will support the Government in trying to attain the objective. We believe too that the overwhelming number of leaders of African states support the Government in wanting the withdrawal of Cuban troops. There was also a time when it was legitimate to link in some way the presence of Cuban troops with the whole question of the process of independence in Namibia.
We believe, however, that those circumstances have changed. Relationships between Angola and South Africa as well as between Angola and the United States of America have improved. The MPLA Government has already accepted in principle that the Cuban troops should be withdrawn. The Joint Monitoring Commission with South Africa and with the Angolan forces have operated for a year now in southern Angola and it appears to have cleared that area of Cuban troops. The Nkomati Accord and the Lusaka Agreement have been evidence of a new willingness amongst states in Southern Africa to find the means of peaceful co-existence.
So, in these circumstances, while the withdrawal of Cuban troops must remain an important objective and regional strategy, it is no longer a critical factor preventing the successful implementation of the Namibian independence process. It is certainly not a factor or an issue through which South Africans, and young South Africans in particular, should be trapped in South West Africa; or an issue through which the people of South West Africa should be denied their long-sought independence. So, we believe that this Government, in reassessing its priorities in terms of politics, expenditure, manpower and international goodwill, must grasp the nettle of Namibian independence and get on with it without delay.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to go into the speech by the hon member for Sea Point except to refer to one matter about which he spoke, namely his plea that we should no longer be involved in the SWA affair. I think that plea must be seen in the light of the confusion that now prevails in the PFP caucus with regard to defence matters. They themselves are not clear about where they want to go with regard to the defence of the country, and so we have these confused pronouncements and plea by the hon member for Sea Point.
I want to refer briefly to the internal relations politics of today and the years ahead. In looking at the implementation of the new dispensation we are now entering upon, I believe that if just one thing becomes evident, namely that we have been able to hold discussions with one another, we have already achieved a great deal and, specifically, the purpose and the object of talking to one another has been realized. In the past there has been a total uncommunicativeness, an almost impenetrable wall which has made it impossible to communicate. Although there has in the past been a need for dialogue, we have—and I include everyone in South Africa—deliberately closed doors and built cocoons around ourselves so that in-depth dialogue has not been possible. This uncommunicativeness has led to many of our problems. It has given rise to mutual suspicion among all those involved in South Africa. We were not able to get through to one another. In their uncommunicativeness the different groups cut themselves off from one another to such a degree that at one stage it seemed impossible for dialogue to again take place in South Africa.
We as Whites, and specifically the Afrikaners, are also guilty. The laager philosophy of entrenchment and isolation has become almost a permanent lifestyle in South Africa. Fortunately the realization has penetrated that the gates of the laager must be opened, and there has been increasing acceptance in South Africa for the fact that one must move out of the laager. I think that this opening of the gates is what inclines the CP to maintain that the NP has adopted a new guise. One stays in the laager only when one is fear-ridden and insecure. If, however, one wants to attack, if one seeks contact, if one wants to operate from a position of strength, one also comes out of the laager. If the fact that the NP is opening the gates of the laager and is prepared to operate outside the laager is taken into account, it is clear that the NP has a new approach in mind and that the NP is a dynamic party that wants to move ahead.
We cannot say this about the CP, nor can they claim, as they did in Primrose, that they are the old National Party. They have renounced the characteristics of the NP. They have ranged themselves alongside the HNP and some of them have ranged themselves behind the HNP.
They are back in the laager and the gates are so tightly closed that I truly do not believe that they will be able to get out.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May the hon member for Langlaagte imply by saying “When will the cock crow” that the hon member is a traitor?
Order! The hon member for Gezina may proceed.
Sir, this concept of isolation of earlier years was at one stage characteristic of the lifestyle of many of the Whites in South Africa, specifically the Afrikaner, who forms the substructure of the NP. I want to say therefore, with reference to the NP, that it moved itself into a milieu of exclusivity. There are many reasons for this. We have for decades taken the political initiatives in South Africa. Decisions were made on this side of the House. The Responsibilities were accepted by this side of the House, by the NP. The front lines were manned by the NP. There was a stage in our politics at which it seemed necessary for this to be so. Social and socio-economic reform had to take place specifically under the Afrikaner. There was a stage at which the Afrikaner had to tear himself away from the absolute vortex of social and economic decline and eventual total decline. This has made a fighter of the Afrikaner. The will to survive sometimes caused him to fight almost recklessly, and certainly relentlessly, in his struggle to survive, and he has succeeded. This did happen over a period of decades, it is true, but he eventually came out on top. In showing his aggressiveness he acted systematically and efficiently, sometimes almost recklessly, fearlessly, eventually succeeding in placing himself in a competitive position in South Africa. In this process of striving to survive, and the eventual achievement of the aim of survival, he has allowed himself to take on certain qualities and acquired characteristics.
In the first place he has, in the process, succeeded in rising above the mentality inherent in a small people, a characteristic so often present in minority groups. It is this kind of attitude, a blend of shame and anger, that develops. The Afrikaner has reached the stage at which he can move forward with his head held high.
In the second place the Afrikaner has broken away from the so-called isolation syndrome of the past. He was able to rid himself of his attitude of uncommunicativeness. There developed a greater degree of awareness of the existence of other groups in South Africa. As a result, the NP could manage to accommodate both the Afrikaner and other South Africans. In the NP there developed not only an awareness of compatriots speaking other languages; there developed a will and a drive towards mutual acknowledgement of the other language groups. In this breakthrough to the other groups the Afrikaner amended and adapted his egocentric lifestyle.
As far as those of colour are concerned, most Afrikaners, I think, have matured and are gladly entering the realms of a completely different South Africa. The former un-communicateveness and seclusion, the almost complete isolation, have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing. The NP accommodates these people, Whites in South Africa who have emerged from the entrenchment of the lager so that, with energy and goodwill and with the will to survive, they can offer their hand to all in South Africa with the request that all must work together in the search for solutions to make South Africa a more beautiful and a happier country for everyone.
The hand is offered to the Coloureds and Indians. They are probably prepared to take the hand, perhaps at the moment still hesitantly and reticently. If they accept that there is still a steep road ahead of them, however, and if they accept the good faith and goodwill of the NP, they can go forward with confidence. They will, however, have to reject the make—or—break philosophy of the UDF—and other activist groups.
I want to refer also to the Blacks in South Africa. With the appointment of the Erica Theron Commission in 1973, the doors were opened for meaningful dialogue with the Coloureds and Indians. The fruits are now being picked. The announcement by the State President, in his opening address last Friday, of the establishment of a forum in which the position of the Blacks can be meaningfully considered will be known in the future as the historic moment, the historic date, on which meaningful joint thinking with and about the Blacks in South Africa was begun.
There will be those who will condemn it. Here we have also the CP, who summarily condemned it at once. They had to do so because they could not come out of the laager to help look for solutions in South Africa.
Some Black leaders condemn it. They are inexorable in their demands, namely one man, one vote. They do not serve South Africa with such demands. As far as the NP is concerned they are enthusiastically ready to talk with the Blacks in South Africa about their future, and to offer the Blacks themselves the opportunity to take part in this dialogue. A refusal to take part in the dialogue also means exclusion from the decision-making, should solutions eventually be discussed.
I point out again that the initial reluctance to speak to the Blacks about their own future has been abandoned. In place of this the NP declares itself, in the person of the State President, prepared to take part in this discussion with an open and receptive mind. The searching for and finding of solutions in this connection has become a high priority. This discussion, however, must not take place only at a leadership level. Constructive dialogue will also have to go on at other levels. We have in mind, for example, the employer-employee situation in which maningful dialogue can take place in future. We have in mind the housewife and her domestic who have the ideal opportunity to talk and listen meaningfully to each other. We must make use of these opportunities.
The CP—and the hon member for Pietersburg, in particular, referred to this—has made much of the claim that the NP has said farewell to separate development. [Interjections.] This is, however, untrue, although the hon member for Rissik says that it is indeed so. It is not true. This proposition by the CP is a proposition born of fear and trembling. The CP does not want to acknowledge the progress which has been made in the development aspect of separate development. It was never the policy of the NP to view separateness in isolation, or to deny the development resulting from it. The NP has managed to make development so successful that what we must now look at is the significant and meaningful lifestyle for the Blacks in South Africa.
The other day I listened to a remark that a White made to a Black petrol attendant. The petrol attendant apparently addressed him as “Sir” because he reacted very strongly: “I am not your ’sir’”. Fortunately I did not hear him probably saying: “I am your Baas”.
This is unfortunately still the position with some of our Whites in South Africa, who want to set their seal on this master-slave approach: The Black remains the slave; the White man the master. Then there is still the Marie van Zyl syndrome, the madness she preaches about two heavens—one for the Whites and one for the Blacks.
Separate development is indeed succeeding. The Blacks, we believe, have with the help of the NP achieved a reasonable stage of development; a stage of development at which fruitful talks can be held in an ordered manner about the future of the Blacks in South Africa.
We on this side of the House will accept the challenge of the future. We will, as in the past, search for solutions and we will find them. However, the goodwill of the Black peoples is necessary to achieve this.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Gezina said that the NP has opened the gates of the laager. I want to tell the hon member that at Blood River, when the Voortrekkers opened the gates of the laager, they ventured forth to launch an attack on the enemies of that small group of people whose downfall those enemies sought. If that hon member says the NP has opened the gates of the laager today, I deduce that they are saying: Come inside. That is why the CP, speaking through its leader, has moved an amendment to this motion of no-confidence which provides, amongst other things—
I have here an NP communiqué which, amongst other things, reads as follows:
Here in the House of Assembly a bench has been set aside, behind the seat of the hon the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs, for the hon Rev Hendrickse and the hon Mr Rajbansi, a Coloured and an Indian. [Interjections.] According to this NP principle, this is political integration. Now the hon member comes along and says that they have opened their gates, but that they stand for separate development. That hon member and the State President, with the initiatives he announced, have also opened the gates to Black people at the highest level. I want to tell them that because they have opened the gates of this White laager for the Coloureds and the Indians to come and sit there by way of the initiatives announced by the State President, the NP has no moral right ultimately to refuse to have a Black Minister, too, in this Parliament. [Interjections.] They have irrevocably chosen the way of political integration.
I made a request to the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament and the Whip of the governing party to ask that the hon gentlemen Hendrickse and Rajbansi … [Interjections.]
May I please put a question?
No, unfortunately I do not have the time. I requested that those two hon gentlemen be present here today. [Interjections.]
To do what?
The hon the Minister of Law and Order asks me: To do what? This party has moved a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet, and those two hon gentlemen are full-fledged members of the Cabinet, not so? [Interjections.] I want to ask the hon the Minister whether they are full-fledged members of the Cabinet. [Interjections.]
Yes, of course.
It is for that reason that I requested those two hon Ministers to be present here today, because they are full-fledged members of the Cabinet of the State President. The CP moved an amendment to the motion of no confidence of the hon Leader of the Official Opposition in which this party indicates that it has no confidence in the Cabinet, a Cabinet in which the hon gentlemen Hendrickse and Rajbansi hold office. That is why I asked the Whips that they be present here, and I am very sorry that they are not. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon gentlemen Hendrickse and Rajbansi that the CP has great respect for them as the elected leaders of their respective nations, and that we accept that they are going to fight in this Parliamanet for the interests of the people they represent here. However, as a result of the new constitutional dispensation and their close involvement in it— their membership in the Cabinet of State President Botha—they are also, with regard to general matters, co-rulers of the Whites of South Africa whom we represent in this Parliament. That is why I want to put a few questions today and express the hope that they themselves will be able to answer those questions for me in this House. I hope the hon the Chief Whip of the governing party will give the hon gentlemen Hendrickse and Rajbansi turns to speak in this debate so that they can answer the questions which I want to put to them today, because they are members of the Cabinet. If the hon the Chief Whip does not give them a turn to speak, it would be a flagrant injustice that his party and this system are inflicting on those two leaders [Interjections.] I say it is a flagrant injustice which will be inflicted on them by this system. This system gives them full-fledged membership of the Cabinet, gives them the right to hold office in this House of Assembly, and even allows the Opposition parties to move a motion of no-confidence in the Cabinet of which they are members; the Cabinet for which they, too, must accept co-responsibility. Therefore I say that the hon the Chief Whip would be doing them an injustice by not giving them a turn to speak. Now I want to know from him what he is going to do. I have put certain questions to the Rev Hendrickse and Mr Rajbansi. Now I want the hon the Chief Whip to tell me whether he is going to give them a turn to speak in this debate.
You do not want them here, but you do ask me to allocate them a turn to speak. [Interjections.]
No, I requested that they be present here. [Interjections.] I used the correct channels by consulting the party whips. Now I ask whether those two hon gentlemen are going to be given a turn to speak in this debate or not. [Interjections.]
No, now they are laughing.
I am not asking that hon Chief Whip to sit and laugh now. I want to know from the hon the Chief Whip of the governing party whether he is going to give those two gentlemen a turn to speak or not.
You just wait and see. [Interjections.]
I want to know now whether they are going to be given a turn to speak or not. That is what I ask the hon the Chief Whip of the governing party.
I say you must wait and see what happens. [Interjections.]
Sir, that hon Chief Whip of the governing party does not have the courage to tell us whether he is going to give them a turn to speak. He does not even know what to do. [Interjections.] The Rev Hendrickse said on television recently that the penions of Coloureds, Whites and Indians in South Africa should be equalized. When the Rev Hendrickse was asked how he was going to bring this about, he said that the pensions of Whites should be frozen, while the pensions of Coloureds and Indians should simultaneously be raised until all the pensions are equal.
Do those hon members agree with that?
I should like the Rev Hendrickse to answer this question. I want to know whether the Rev Hendrickse cleared this proposed solution of his with the whole Cabinet. [Interjections.] I want to ask him whether he received the approval of the Cabinet to express an opinion on the pensions of Whites in South Africa. I want to ask the Rev Hendrickse that, Sir. If he has not done so, I also want to know whether he has been reprimanded by the State President at any stage. The State President himself is sitting here. Maybe he can tell us whether the Rev Hendrickse cleared this matter with him. If this is not the case, did the State President reprimand the Rev Hendrickse? [Interjections.]
As far as the appointment and promotion of Indians and Coloureds in senior executive positions in the Public Service is concerned, the Rev Hendrickse said that Affirmative Action, as it is applied in the USA, will also be made applicable here in South Africa. We telephoned the American Embassy to ask what this means. They say that if a White with, for example, a masters’ degree applies for a position, whereas a Black with an ordinary BA degree applies for the same position, the latter will be appointed rather than the White with the higher qualification. [Interjections.] Yes, those hon members can laugh about this. That is what Affirmative Action means.
According to a newspaper report, the Rev Hendrickse said that in terms of Affirmative Action, an effective effort must be made to appoint non-Whites to senior executive positions in the Public Service. I want to ask the Rev Hendrickse to reply to this. This deliberate effort of his to appoint non-Whites to senior executive positions in the Public Service inevitably raises certain questions. Does he intend to launch this campaign only in the departments which handle Coloured own affairs or does he intend it also to happen in the 25 State Departments which also handle general affairs? Does he want non-Whites to be appointed to senior executive positions in those departments too?
I put these questions because the hon the Minister of Home Affairs said—and he said it in this House last year—that Coloureds and Indians can progress to the highest rung in every department which handles general affairs. That is why I put this question to that hon Minister.
Furthermore it has been said that the Rev Hendrickse has conducted a dialogue about this with the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I want to ask him to inform hon members of this House about the decisions made. I want to put the following question to both the Rev Hendrickse and Mr Rajbansi. If the small Ndebele nation of approximately 300 000 people were to approach the Government this year and argue that they, as a nation, wanted true freedom in their own territory, that they wanted to rule over themselves there, that they wanted to be independent within the borders of their own homeland, what then? Incidentally it must be remembered that Ndebele did not have a traditional territory. We now ask those members what their point of view is going to be in the Cabinet. What are they, as leaders of the Coloured and Indian Houses of Parliament, going to do if legislation is submitted in which this Black nation asks for freedom? I think it is imperative that the hon the Rev Hendrickse and the hon Mr Rajbansi, who are a member of the State President’s Cabinet, furnish an answer. We want to ask them if they are going to stand in the way of a Black nation which elects to govern itself in an own homeland, or whether they are going to support a basic principle of the CP, which says that each nation must be put in a position to decide and rule over all facets which affect its life. [Interjections.] Is the NP Government going to give your permission? Are you going to permit the true freedom of Ndebele to be granted, or are you going to refuse it? I should like to learn what the answers to these questions are.
The hon Mr Rajbansi, who is a member of this Cabinet, against which we moved a motion of no confidence, has already said that he is going to strive for residential rights for Indians, also in the Free State. [Interjections.] I have sympathy with Mr Rajbansi’s dilemma. As a Cabinet member he is now a co-ruler—over the Free State as well— whereas the people whom he represents here have no residential rights in that province. I have sympathy with his problem, I want to say to the hon the Minister that he and his people have no historic ties with the Free State. I want to request him to abandon his efforts to get residential rights for Indians in the Free State. I should also like to put a question to the hon member Mr Vermeulen: Is he going to support me in this request which I am addressing to the hon the Minister? [Interjections.] Mr Vermeulen says that he will not support me. I should also like to ask the hon member for Bloemfontein North whether he is going to support me in this regard. [Interjections.] Yes, I also put the question to the hon the Chief Whip of the NP. [Interjections.] I take my hat off to the hon member Mr Vermeulen, because at least he had the courage to tell me what his point of view is. I thank him for that. [Interjections.]
On various occasions the two hon members of the Cabinet, Rev Hendrickse and Mr Rajbansi, spoke in favour of provision being made for Blacks in the present constitutional dispensation. Today I should like to ask them whether they are satisfied with what the State President has envisaged for Black people. Did they contribute towards launching the new course announced by the State President? In their opinion, does it make provision for the involvement of Blacks, too—as in the case of the Coloureds and Indians—in the decision-making processes of South Africa? Are they going to continue— as they have envisaged—to fight in the Cabinet for Blacks to become full-fledged citizens of the RSA, with representation in this Parliament? If they are indeed going to do this, I want to ask the hon members of the NP whether they are going to resist it. I ask the hon the Minister of Communication and of Public Works whether he is going to offer resistance. Is he going to resist? [Interjections.] The point of view of the CP is that if Blacks are brought into this Parliament, we shall resist for all we are worth and we shall not take it lying down. Is the hon the Minister, therefore, going to resist? I want to put the same question to that hon the Deputy Minister. Is he going to resist? [Interjections.] I conclude that the hon members of the governing party cannot answer us, because they have lost the will to resist political integration. This is why the CP says that it has no confidence in the Government. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, in the first place I should like to ask your permission to make a short statement in connection with a matter about which a great deal has been written lately and about which certain remarks have also been made in this House. I am referring to the position of Mr Nelson Mandela.
†Recently a number of reports have appeared in newspapers here and abroad regarding Mr Mandela. As far as these reports are concerned I should like to comment as follows:
It will be recalled that at the United Nations and throughout the world, allegations have regularly been made that Mr Mandela’s health has deteriorated in prison, that he has been ill-treated and that he continues to be detained under terrible and inhuman conditions. It is heartening to note that Lord Bethell, a British member of the European Parliament, member of the House of Lords and member of the European Working Group on Human Rights, has given the lie to all of these false allegations. He expressed his views in an article which appeared in the British Sunday newspaper Mail on Sunday of 27 January 1985. Lord Bethell visited two South African prisons on 21 January 1985 for the purpose of orienting himself in regard to the detention of prisoners. During the course of his visit he had the opportunity of meeting Mr Mandela. In its editorial on Lord Bethell’s report, the newspaper commented as follows:
It is, perhaps, too much to ask that the UN, and the many organizations which exist throughout the world for the purpose of defaming South Africa, should take note of this.
Both Lord Bethell and the newspaper concerned asked the South African Government to release Mr Mandela. They are neither the first nor the only ones to make such a request to the South African Government. Two eminent Black leaders, President Matanzima and Chief Minister Buthelezi, also called on me to release Mr Mandela. In fact, President Matanzima has for years been appealing to the South African Government to have Mr Mandela and a number of other citizens of Transkei, who are serving prison sentences in South Africa, released in Transkei. President Matanzima has indicated that Mr Mandela and some of the other prisoners belong to his people, that Mr Mandela is related to him and that he will provide them and their families with suitable houses in order to enable them to resume a normal family life. He also indicated that these people would not act contrary to the provisions of any law should they be released. The Government is willing to give sympathetic consideration to President Matanzima’s requests, but it seems that Mr Mandela and his associates prefer to stay in prison rather than be released in their country of origin. The Government is not insensitive to the fact that Mr Mandela and others have spent a very long time in prison—I am personally not insensitive about this—even though they were duly convicted in open court. The Government is also willing to consider Mr Mandela’s release in the Republic of South Africa on condition that Mr Mandela gives a commitment that he will not make himself guilty of planning, instigating or committing acts of violence for the furtherance of political objectives, but will conduct himself in such a way that he will not again have to be arrested. Prominent people in other countries to whom I and members of the Cabinet have stated this point of view have, without hesitation, reacted by saying that this is indeed a very understandable and reasonable approach. Even Lord Bethell, when he asked to be allowed to visit Mr Mandela, wrote: “I should explain at the outset my own views on the case. I in no way support the ANC and I condemn unreservedly the violent methods that it used in an attempt to achieve its political goals.” Lord Bethell subsequently requested the South African Government to release Mr Mandela on humanitarian grounds. As I have indicated, the Government is willing to consider Mr Mandela’s release, but I am sure that Parliament will understand that we cannot do so if Mr Mandela himself says that the moment he leaves prison he will continue with his commitment to violence. It is therefore not the South African Government which now stands in the way of Mr Mandela’s freedom. It is he himself. The choice is his. All that is required of him now is that he should unconditionally reject violence as a political instrument. This is, after all, a norm which is respected in all civilized countries of the world.
I would like to ask the State President if that same offer will also extend to some of the other prisoners who are in gaol and have been there for years.
Yes, if they unconditionally accept the provisions I laid down.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the State President …
No, I am not going to answer any further questions now.
*I am grateful to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition for having sided in his speech—which at times exhibited great responsibility, but at others wandered off the subject a little—with other responsible persons and expressed himself opposed to the movement towards disinvestment in South Africa. I do not underestimate this worldwide effort. Only a fool would underestimate this organized world-wide effort. Nevertheless I wish to join the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition today in warning those reckless elements who, with their disinvestment programme, are continuing their attempts to persuade municipalities and second-tier governments, banks and other monetary institutions to withdraw millions from South Africa and by so doing think that they will topple the Government, that they are making a big mistake. They will help to impoverish this country. They will most probably help to impoverish the White population of this country. The people whom they supposedly wish to help, however, will suffer most.
That is why I am very grateful that the hon Leader of the Official Opposition has, in such a responsible way, made his voice heard in opposition to this. I hope that it will be heard abroad as a sign that South Africa, in conjunction with all responsible leaders in this country, will resist any attempt of this nature. We warn them that they will not accomplish what they think they will accomplish.
I have already said to people abroad: “Do not put us with our backs to the wall; you might find a quite different situation in South Africa if you do that”. I wish to go further. Personally I am prepared to go a long way to relax the tension in inter-group relations in this country, although I have already stated repeatedly in this Parliament that I am not prepared to lead the White population to abdication.
You have done that already! [Interjections.]
I hope that I shall be granted the opportunity today to speak at a level on which I should like to maintain this debate, and I therefore call upon hon members to assist me in this respect.
I have said on various occasions that I am not prepared to lead the Whites to abdication, but I warn that if injudicious elements abroad should have their way, they will unleash injudicious forces in this country and that will lead South Africa to only one thing. It will not only lead South Africa to poverty but to a blood-bath. If South Africa is plunged into a blood-bath, however, many people in this country will suffer. South Africa is so constituted that it could easily be turned into a blood-bath by any fool. Any fool could ignite a match at the wrong moment, which could cause this country to be turned into a blood-bath. It requires many wise people, however, to attempt to maintain relationships in such a way that civilized standards and progress may be preserved here. If the free world should adopt this fatal course, it is no longer free. Then it is an instrument of tyranny and despair. Consequently I hope that responsible leaders in the free world will themselves make a stand, as they have already started doing, to stop this fool’s errand the left-wing radicals have embarked upon.
†Economic sanctions in various forms were started by the United Nations. Then suddenly our enemies there and elsewhere created the slogan that South Africa was destabilizing Southern Africa. For months we heard this story—it was even repeated in some South African newspapers—that South Africa was on the road to the destabilization of Southern Africa. When these stories proved to be wrong because of events that emerged afterwards, our enemies suddenly switched to a new method of harming South Africa, namely disinvestment on account of our internal policies. I want to repeat that should this method succeed, we will naturally pay the price, but not the least those whose interests our enemies pretend to serve.
*I listened quite calmly to the hon Leader of the Official Opposition when he spoke about complaints against the Government. I have no intention of launching a defensive campaign today; nevertheless I wish to refer to one or two statements. In the first place I wish to react to the hon Leader’s reference to my well-known statement in connection with the Public Service, in which I said the Public Service would be rationalized and made more effective. We are still doing this. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition then said that the Public Service had grown excessively, and that is also a cry that one hears everywhere in the country from unenlightened people. People from abroad are already coming to my office with this parrot-cry.
I have a very interesting report here from the Commission for Administration which indicates that the civilian component of the Public Service establishment—with the exception therefore of the services, the Police, Prisons and the Defence Force—increased from 106 865 posts on 1 July 1978 to 133 551 posts on 1 July 1983. Percentage-wise the growth over the five years was 25%, or an average of 5% per annum.
Educationist services do not form part of the statutorily defined Public Service, but there the growth was phenomenal. This is the greatest mistake which most people often make. They merely lump everyone together and then say how phenomenally the Public Service has grown. It was non-White educationists at colleges and schools in particular who increased over the same period from approximately 41 700 to 92 200. This represents a growth of 121% over five years, or an average of 24% per annum.
This is precisely what we—or at least all reasonable people—in South Africa want. We want the Coloureds, Indians and Black people to be trained thoroughly. Surely we wish to help them to make up the leeway that exists in their case. Surely we wish not only to give them academic training but also to provide them with technical training and it is in these fields that the greatest progress is being made, namely that of non-White educationists, so that those people may not only attain a higher standard of living but may be a greater asset to South Africa as a whole and so that in so doing they may also contribute to strengthening the economy of our country.
If the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition therefore takes it amiss of me for having said that the Public Service would be rationalized, then I wish to draw his attention to the fact that the number of Government departments has in fact been rationalized. Growth in that sector of the Public Service was not so great; the growth was in exactly that sphere in which South Africa needs it most in order to improve the living conditions of people in the long term.
I agree with him that South Africa’s political, constitutional and economic development are inextricably bound. Political stability is essential for economic stability, but the reverse is also true. Economic stability is a requirement for political stability. Nevertheless the Republic of South Africa should at all times have the ability to maintain orderly government; if not, it will have no political and economic stability.
Surely we see this throughout the Western world, it is not only in South Africa that police and security forces are called in to maintain order. All hell has broken loose in every Western country and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, who travels abroad, knows this. He sees it on our television screens and reads in our newspapers that the devil stalks abroad in every country and the security forces of every country have to be used to contain people who wish to take the law into their own hands, who wish only to demolish and to destroy and become a threat to economic stability, and so ultimately to political stability as well.
South Africa is no exception in this respect. South Africa will continue to do this— now and in the future. If the hon Leader should every happen to find himself in my position he will be obliged, if he wishes to bring about political stability and economic progress, to maintain order. He is nodding his head and therefore agrees that I am right.
It is a fact that South Africa has a promising economic future. Friend and foe perceive this. Enemies want us because they wish to use us for other purposes, whereas our friends sometimes perceive it and I am afraid become a little jealous because we in Southern Africa are progressing too fast. We have the raw materials, railways, harbours, electricity, well-developed banking and financial institutions, the entrepreneurial talent and a growing population which is developing a vast buying capacity. Naturally we should encourage these things, but in such a way that South Africa’s economy remains sound. From time to time the economy becomes ailing, as does any healthy organism which requires periodical attention. Like all other countries we experience problems which are often attributable to factors beyond our control. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also experiences problems beyond his control.
I do not resent his doing so, but he said inter alia that “the policies of this Government are responsible for the dreadful economic situation”. I think those were more or less the words he used. He said that one of the results of the policies adopted by the Government was that confidence in South Africa had been shaken and the value of the rand had fallen. Since the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition spoke about the drop in the value of the rand, however, the value of the rand has risen. [Interjections.] I ask him now whether he thinks the Government has governed better in the five days that have passed since he delivered his speech.
Since I spoke, yes.
Will we be governing badly again if the value of the rand should drop tomorrow? [Interjections.] Those are childish stories and I think one should drop the subject.
It is general knowledge now that over the past few years South Africa has been detrimentally affected by factors beyond our control. I am not going to discuss all of them but wish to refer only to a few, namely the world-wide recession, the decline in the gold price and the drought. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition said that we should not try to hide behind the drought. It was merely an easy way of evading the facts. If he is not aware of it, I wish to inform him that since 1982 the Government has spent R491 million on direct drought aid which it would not have spent if there had not been a drought.
South Africa had to import maize for two consecutive seasons, and according to my information the loss in foreign exchange over two import seasons amounted to R1 060 million. That is more than a billion rand. We also had to assist the farmers with interest on carry-over debts, and we had to give the farmers support in the form of production credit loans to an amount which at present stands at R998 million at 7,5%. Since March 1983 Land Bank aid as a result of the drought amounted to R559 million.
Are these not factors which would upset the calculations of any government? When one has to pump in more than a billion rand, either in the form of losses suffered, or in the form of direct aid to keep one of the country’s major industries and providers of employment—if not the major provider of employment—on its feet, then surely it is something beyond one’s control which struck the economy. And then the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition says that we must not discuss the drought. Of course we must not discuss the drought, because he wants to get at us. I say to him, however, that we must discuss the drought; we must also discuss the fall in the gold price; we must discuss the general recessionary conditions which have been prevailing in the world for years now. We must discuss these matters and we must take them into consideration. If one takes them into consideration, the Government has not done too badly; in fact, the Government has done particularly well in keeping South Africa on its present course. [Interjections.] With that I am not advocating the standpoint that the Government is perfect in all its actions, we also make mistakes. But the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also makes major mistakes. He knows that occasionally I save him from some of his mistakes.
The important question is how we are dealing with the problems. What economic strategy are we applying? the main point that needs to be emphasized in this connection is that the Government and the Reserve Bank do in fact have a clear policy strategy, and it is being applied step by step. It is not merely a series of ad hoc decisions which are being taken, there are in fact adjustments because circumstances change. In this world circumstances change more rapidly than in the past, but the basic policy has been laid down and continues. It is to allow total expenditure in the economy to grow at the correct rate by means of a monetary and fiscal policy, not too slowly and not too quickly either. To achieve this goal in this fluctuating world is not always possible. The purpose is clear. We must get our country to live within its means and we must try to keep our economy strong. We must not grab too much money out of the air and print it and pump it into the economy. The Government is guarding against that. Nor must we make the same mistake other countries, whose names I do not want to mention, have made. They borrowed too much money abroad. We can borrow a great deal of money if we so wish. Despite the fact that it is being said that South Africa is not trusted in the outside world, that it does not have any friends, that there are no people who have confidence in this country I want to say that we can borrow a great deal of money if we so wish. We are careful, however, because we are aware of the disadvantages involved in borrowing too much.
Government spending must not grow too quickly and it must be financed correctly. Current expenditure must not be financed with loans. We try to manage this as far as possible. The March 1985 Budget is going to be an important budget, but I am not going to anticipate it. There is, however, essential expenditure which the State has to incur. We must build roads. People want roads; people want post offices; people want magistrate’s courts; people want schools; people want all kinds of amenities from the State; people want infrastructures from the State for the sake of the Development. The latest statistics clearly indicate that this policy of ours is working. Of course such a policy requires certain sacrifices in the short term. We make no apology for that and I expect that because the hon the Leader of the official Opposition tries to act in all honesty, he will get up here and tell the country that he joins the Government in asking: “Make these sacrifices in the short term in the interests of South Africa.” I trust that he will still do that. I am sure that he will.
Nobody maintains that it is pleasant to curtail excessive expenditure. After all it is great fun to live it up to one’s heart’s content. However, we have to think ahead in this country. There are major problems and we have considerable future commitments. We have major burdens to bear, also financially, with regard to underdeveloped parts of this country. Ahead lie the years 1986, 1987 and what is to follow—and they await us.
The Government does not act only on behalf of industrialists, or mine owners, or financial institutions, or this group or that. The Government must think on a national level. Also when drawing up its budgets and making decisions in the economic sphere, it must think on a national level. We must do what is in the national interest and I want to express the hope that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition will in these times rise above petty party politics, and that he will, just as he adopted a standpoint on disinvestment, join me in a standpoint of support for Government steps to maintain order in the economic sphere.
I want to deal briefly with another matter. At the opening of Parliament I dealt with a number of matters which have now elicited varying reactions—overseas and even in South Africa responsible circles have reacted favourably. They even elicited favourable reaction from the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and I thank him for that. There are also people, however, who rejected the standpoint which I adopted here on behalf of the Government. I do not, however, expect to satisfy everybody and I am not trying to do so either. One cannot satisfy people who are petty-minded and who are filled with resentment and hatred.
I shall deal with the hate campaign against South Africa in a moment. I laid down certain guidelines in my speech to help make further negotiations between the population communities of South Africa possible, We hold talks with those persons who want to co-operate. I cannot hold talks with people who do not want to co-operate. I cannot hold talks with people who burn down schools, who murder responsible leaders, throw stones, commit atrocities and act as criminals. I cannot hold talks with such people. No responsible government anywhere in the world will do that. I do, however, hold talks with every possible leader who is prepared to say that he renounces violence, that he wants to talk about improvement in South Africa, that he wants to talk about mutual interests and his own interests. It is my duty to do so. I make no apology for it. Any person placed in my position tomorrow, would also have to do that, no matter what he said today.
I do, however, want to issue a warning, before it is too late, against the underhand propaganda which I have seen flaring up overseas and also in this country, namely the question of when we are going to implement it. They cannot attack it now as it stands and now they are asking: “But when is the Government going to apply this? When is the Government going to carry this out?”
Sir, one can recognize them even now: All of them are the friends of the radicals on the left. All of them are the protectors of the violators of the law who will circulate that story. [Interjections.] The mere fact that I am being contradicted while I am making this statement, proves that I am right. My answer is: We shall implement it successfully when the wreckers stand aside so that we can build our road together with the responsible people in South Africa.
That is why I referred in my speech to a well-intentioned world opinion of which we would take cognisance. I said in my speech that South Africa was not an island. South Africa was a country which dealt with imports as well as exports. South Africa had contact with people abroad in connection with security matters as well as in the field of research, and therefore we would take cognisance of a responsible world opinion. At the same time, however, I said that we would not permit international world opinion to prescribe to us how we should solve our problems. I think the hon Leader of the Official Opposition will agree with me in this regard. I say this to every foreign leader with whom I have dealings. If the hon Leader of the Official Opposition wants information in that regard he can come to my office and I shall brief him on the extent to which we go out of our way to put South Africa’s standpoint to responsible people in the world. I shall make this information available to him.
We cannot simply accept recipes from abroad and apply them in their country. I want to say to the hon Leader of the Official Opposition that if he were to come into power tomorrow, he would not be able to satisfy that world opinion. He knows that as well as I do. He will have to adopt a standpoint, and then he is going to run into trouble with certain people in South Africa, as sure as two plus two is four.
I want to refer briefly to one aspect which I referred to on Friday, namely the question of land and property. I want to deal with a few facets briefly. One could talk about this for a long time because there are many facets. In the first instance I want to say that it is nothing new for a White government to adopt the standpoint that a non-White community is to be given rights of ownership in a part of White South Africa. Paul Kruger did so.
I want to make a second observation. I do not want to go back too far, but I do want to go back a little way into the past.
I believe that the farmer who looks over his shoulder too often, ploughs a crooked furrow. The enemies and opponents of the Republic of South Africa use false propaganda with regard to the ownership of land in this country. It is asserted that 87% of the land is in the possession of a White minority. This is used to stir up the outside world, and even well-meaning people. This was my experience last year. I also experience it when people converse with me in my office. They are uninformed and then make this allegation.
But what are the facts? Let me quote from an example of this propaganda. I want to quote from a document that was handed to me and distributed during our overseas trip last year:
That is a lie. I continue:
That is a lie. I continue:
That is a lie. I continue:
That is a lie. I continue:
That is a lie. I continue:
That is a lie. It goes on to state:
That is just not true. This kind of thing is thrust into the hands of governments by people with the faces of angels who move in international circles. Then they distribute it under the title: “Apartheid’s Policy of Genocide”. This is being distributed mainly by the ANC and communist hangers-on, and people abroad, of whom one would not expect it, fall for this kind of propaganda.
†This parrot cry by leftist radical forces is not being used to help non-White people in South Africa; that is not the idea behind it.
It is being used or exploited for other purposes, to which I shall return later.
*But what are the facts? Let us take a brief look at them. I have said that I do not want to look back too much, but I must make this statement for the sake of the facts and the record: If Britain had not broken its word in regard to the protectorates, the British-South Africa of the past would have presented a completely different appearance. The BLS- and the TBVC-countries constitute 57,7% of the total surface area of the former British South Africa. This would have altered the entire picture. We know how the British Government changed its mind and ran away from its original promises. I am not referring to Mrs Thatcher’s Government; I am referring to the past.
Secondly, the 16,6 million hectares which have been reserved for Black communities since 1936—before 1936 it was 10,4 million hectares and after that 6,2 million hectares were added, giving a total of 16,6 million hectares—together comprise an area larger than England and Wales combined. It is larger than Malawi, larger than Swaziland, Lesotho, Liberia and in Europe, larger than Belgium, Switzerland, and larger than the Netherlands which thinks it is cock of the walk when it comes to South Africa, larger than Ireland and also larger than Denmark.
Consequently there are two factors which must be borne in mind when land in this country is being discussed. The first is that the British Government of that time brake its promises. Secondly, it must be remembered that land has in fact been set aside.
I now come to the third point, namely that, in contrast to South Africa’s average normal rainfall of 464 millimetres per annum, approximately 75% of the self-governing national states and the TBVC-countries received more than 600 millimetres per annum. In other words, these countries have received the best parts of South Africa in regard to climatic conditions. These are not the “slums”, not the “arid slums” …
I am talking to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, not to the hon member for Houghton. [Interjections.] Although 27% of the RSA has a desert climate, less than 0,5% of it is to be found in the national self-governing states and independent TBVC-countries. The semi-desert areas fall outside the national states and the TBVC countries. Then one finds these repulsive lies being forced down the throats of decent people abroad by the ANC and the Communist Party.
To continue, the national self-governing and TBVC-countries have 50% of the arable land in South Africa at their disposal. As a consequence, the agricultural potential there is high, if only the utilization of the land can be improved. Closely connected to this is the principle of property rights. This is what I want to say. That is why I said in my speech last Friday that it is not only a question of property rights in urban Black areas adjacent to our own urban areas, but it is also on the issue of property rights that negotiations will have to be conducted with the national states. I want to make it clear in this House today that if this does not happen those states will continue to grow poorer. I would say that there are two simple reasons for this. Capitalists will not want to become involved in this matter. I said at the Cape Congress—and I repeat it here—that it was a blunder on the part of the NP not to allow White capital into those areas in the past. [Interjections.] I am now saying this here and the hon members on the other side need not curse me for it.
No, I am not cursing you. [Interjections.]
We want to rectify this matter. The second reason is that those states refused to grant property rights. Those states will not attract private capital unless they change their system of communal land ownership. This is also one of the inherent problems in Africa.
Now the hon Leader of the Official Opposition tells me that our policy has failed. The carrying capacity of those territories and the areas bordering on them, can be increased by means of regional development, decentralization, the deconcentration of industrial development and the development of agriculture. I have another reason for saying this. Over the years the White churches in South Africa have all at some stage or other opposed migrant labour. This includes the Afrikaans churches. One of the best ways of reducing migrant labour is firstly, to grant land ownership, secondly to allow regional development and thirdly to introduce improved commuter services, while at the same time, in the forth place, stimulating the development in those national states by means of adequate land ownership. This is our policy. All things considered, we are not doing too badly.
The following is of importance in regard to food production. Twenty-three per cent of the earlier Republic of South Africa’s best agricultural potential now falls within the Black national states. With thorough utilization and cultivation of that land, food could be provided for 25 million people. Why does the hon Leader of the Official Opposition not stand up and tell me when he replies to this debate: “You have my support for this programme of development and land ownership, not only in the urban areas where it will provide security but also because I want to aid you in bringing about land ownership in the Black states where, with their co-operation, I should like to assist you in developing those areas? I want to assist you with tackling deconcentration, decentralization and regional development on a larger scale.” When the hon Leader of the Official Opposition tells me this then I will believe him.
I have often told my colleagues, but I also want to say it in public, that I am not opposed to the development of the PWV area. In my opinion it is a fine area which carries the bulk of the economy of South Africa. I am saying this again in this House, but I want to express a warning! Read the report of the Science Committee of the President’s Council, and see what water resources are available to support large future influxes of people into the PWV area. I am not a prophet, but I predict that if we do not come to our senses, but continue to develop everything around our metropolises, we shall die of thirst. In fact, there will be protestations from Natal and the Zulus if water from the Tugela River should continue to be used for the PWV area. When one considers a country like West Germany, where development in the sphere of economics is balanced, it becomes clear that decentralization was essential to and was the central idea behind this process.
The issues I touched on in my opening address have evoked criticism and it is important that I ask those critics to give these matters their balanced consideration. I am not quarrelling with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, but by talking to him I am addressing a whole lot of other people. It is true that this country is much debated in international circles. It is also true that it is a beleaguered country. Firstly, the RSA has come under crossfire, and its problems internationalized, in the power struggle between the super powers, the USA and Soviet Russia. This power struggle between the super powers is being waged in Africa and as a consequence Africa is being torn in two. The extent to which Africa has become impotent and divided is revealed and symbolized by what is taking place at the moment amongst the member countries of the Organization for African Unity. They cannot get together to discuss their problems because they have become the victims of that power struggle. In the course of that process Africa is being plunged into poverty and famine. I have just received a Sapa-Reuter report of 29 January 1985, from which I only want to quote a part:
†It is said that 15 of the 21 countries are facing exceptional food supply problems. These are, and I quote:
*This report then continues to describe the misery which is on the increase. I have already referred to the other reasons, namely the incorrect application and usage of land in Africa.
The third reason is that aid to Africa is being provided in the wrong way. Africa does require aid, it is said, but when I spoke to President Machel and told him that he should not expect us to provide aid in the way in which other countries do in Africa, his immediate answer was: “Thank you, we do not want aid because Africa is tired of aid; we want co-operation.” They have lagged behind in regard to training, technological aid and load utilization methods; they have lagged behind in methods to convert the best of Africa into hard currency.
We adopt a different standpoint. Our standpoint is that as years go by we want to help improve the education of our Black communities and that of our Black neighbouring countries for whom we are responsible. We adopt the standpoint that we want to contribute to and aid in making possible an adequate policy of decentralization and regional development. We adopt the standpoint that the Development Bank of Southern Africa, which has already achieved great success, should continue to do so. We adopt the standpoint that we want to support the Small Business Development Corporation to make small business possible in South Africa on a much larger scale, as we have been doing in the past.
Let me conclude: These efforts are being opposed with the assistance of left-wing radicals throughout the world who mislead uninformed, well-intentioned people about the actual state of affairs in South Africa. Their purpose is to bring about anarchy in South Africa. At the same time Soviet-controlled forces continue to build up military activities against South Africa wherever possible. If all these attempts were to succeed there could be only one result, the destruction of South Africa as a regional force. I say that it is in the interests of the entire Southern Africa south of the Sahara that South Africa must remain a strong regional power.
Are these left-wing radicals, represented as they are by the ANC and the UDF which is its twin brother, really interested in the labour unions? Are they really interested in those school children whom they encourage to commit arson? No, they are interested in power, just as their predecessors were in Soviet Russia until they seized that power and used it to create an elite government with the masses in subjugation to it. Wherever they held sway in Africa they created a powerful governing elite, and left the masses impoverished and suppressed.
If these people have their way in South Africa—their supporters and their patrons, whether they are inside or outside Parliament, should know this—South Africa will be transformed into a dictatorship that will not only result in a blood-bath but will also mean that the masses they supposedly wish to save, will not be saved.
What kind of idealism is embodied in the burning down of schools? What kind of idealism is embodied in intimidating pupils into rejecting their chances of a better future? What kind of idealism is embodied in burning down the homes of decent peace-loving citizens or in the destruction of communities who, through hard work, can progress to achieving a higher standard of living?
I conclude with this question. Those who want to condemn us from abroad must show us a country in Africa which can serve as an example worth following. If such a country cannot be found on the continent of Africa, show us another country in the world with as many problems as ours which will serve as an example. If there is no example to give, then ask what the alternative to this Government’s policy is. If the alternative is meant to bring about the collapse of this Government, and this is achieved, what will have been achieved besides handing South Africa over to the forces of chaos?
Mr Speaker, in response to the State President, I have a slight problem as to whether to take my cue from the way one of the hon members on that side of the House would have replied if my hon leader had just spoken. They would invariably have started by saying it was the worst speech ever made by him in a no-confidence debate in this House.
Alternatively, one could look at it as being in a sense a maiden speech in a no-confidence debate in this House. I think in this age of consensus, that is probably a better approach. I would accordingly like to congratulate the State President on his first speech in that capacity in this House.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition will be replying or referring to many of the points raised tomorrow, and I will also be referring to some of the aspects covered by the State President in the course of my speech.
I would just like to comment on two particular matters. The first one is the important announcement by the State President on the question of Mr Nelson Mandela and other so-called political prisoners.
It is interesting to hear hon members over there saying “so-called”. Whenever the opponents of South Africa talk of political prisoners, they say there are not political prisoners. I welcome that statement by the State President. I hope it will make a contribution towards improving race relations in South Africa.
The State President also referred to the question of the growth of the Public Service. He gave us various figures. Breaking it down to the period 1978-1984, he said that in most of the basic categories, he had calculated that the growth had only been 5% per annum. I think I quote him correctly. That is nothing to be proud of. During that period the real growth in the domestic product of South Africa was far lower on average than 5% per annum. The growth in the Public Service is faster than the growth in the economy. In addition, the population growth is not 5% either. Again the growth in the Public Service is greater than that of the population, and that is not even making allowance for the fact that since 1978 both Venda and Ciskei are no longer part of South Africa. That figure is therefore not one to be proud of but one which should cause concern. I think it is a worrying sign that the State President referred to it as a figure that should be looked upon with pride. In general terms, I think the State President is aware that people are concerned about the fact that the total Government expenditure as a percentage of the GDP has risen from about 25% in 1978 to 30% of our total output in 1984. That, together with the Public Service as a subsection of it, is what causes concern.
The hon the Minister of Home Affairs was unhappy about the fact that this party was cautious in its response to the State President’s speech at the opening of Parliament. He must, however, be aware that it is not only the PFP that had a cautious response to that speech, and the reason for our response is, I believe, quite straightforward. Throughout this country, in political circles, in the business world and amongst the ordinary people, there is a crisis of confidence in the Government. The economy is in a mess, and the Government’s political policies are falling apart. In fact, so bad have matters become in that respect that progress and congratulations to the Government are directly proportional to and can be measured against the speed with which they abandon their policies and not the speed with which they implement them.
Why is there this crisis of confidence? I believe there are various reasons in both the economic and political spheres, and I wish to identify some of these reasons this afternoon and indicate what in my view can be done about it.
Firstly, there is an inability on the part of the Government to identify correctly the causes of our problems. In the economic sphere, the hon the Minister of Finance suggests that the essence of our problems is the low gold price, the drought and the strong dollar, and that we must therefore just accept that we are poorer than we used to be. On the last point we can all agree—we are all poorer than we used to be. We can also accept that the drought, in particular, and some other factors beyond our control have aggravated our problems, but the underlying causes of our economic problems are the political policies pursued and the mismanagement of our economy by the Government.
In the early 1970’s we had the oil crisis that affected most countries in the world rather badly, and it affected them in two particular ways. First of all, it upset their balance of payments and caused tremendous problems in that regard and, secondly, it had an inflationary effect on economies, and this too created a problem that had to be countered. We in South Africa were in fact very lucky in both these respects because as the oil price rapidly escalated so did the gold price. Our problems in regard to the balance of payments were therefore far less serious than those of most of our trading partners.
In terms of internal inflation, we were also fortunate compared with most of our trading partners in that a relatively small proportion of our energy requirements depended on imported oil. On both scores we were therefore better off than most of our trading partners. Yet we squandered that opportunity and did not make the necessary adjustments. The Government continually overspent and the public sector lived beyond the means of the country. We sounded a warning, but as a rapidly increasing gold price shielded us from the Government’s folly, little attention was paid to our warnings.
The Government spent money as if it was going out of fashion. Now it has gone out of fashion. The rand is worth only about a third of what it was against the dollar before the oil crisis in the 1970’s. However, the strong dollar is not the only problem, as the rand has also depreciated against most other currencies. The hon the Minister of finance correctly pointed out that the underlying reason for the rand’s depreciation against the German mark and the pound is that our inflation rate has been far higher than that of Germany and Britain. He glossed over that point, but let us look at just two figures in that regard. In the decade 1974 to 1984, the real GDP, in other words the size of the economy, has increased by 25% in total. However, the money supply—and it does not really matter which measure you take, but let us take M2 which is the most commonly used one—increased by 390%. That was while the economy was growing by 25%. Because the growth in the money supply has now, at last, become an embarrassment to the Government, we now hear a lot about velocity of circulation, and that certainly is a valid factor in measuring this. It is interesting how recently this has become topical because, if one studies Reserve Bank quarterly bulletins and the statistics published, one sees that they do not actually publish velocity of circulation figures. I suggest the reason for that is that the main control mechanism available to a government is to try to control the money supply. The control which they have over the velocity of circulation is, in fact, relatively small.
It is hardly surprising that we have had double-digit inflation for more than a decade and that the value of the rand has plummeted. Inflation has primarily been caused by this Government and has been used as a form of taxation by stealth to finance Government over-expenditure. It is the main cause of the rand’s collapse and the Government should not try to run away from its responsibility in this regard.
Let us consider a future scenario. If we were to look at the year 2000, and we were told while doing our planning that the gold price in the year 2000 would be $2 500 per fine ounce, we would all say that that was wonderful. South Africa would then be very prosperous, with a strong vigorous economy. Or would it? The Government has squandered just such an opportunity over the past 15 years. Since 1970 gold has increased in value more than 8 times in dollar terms and 24 times in rand value—yet our economy is in a mess. Could there be a greater indictment of the Government’s mismanagement of our economy?
The message should be clear: The blame for our economic ills cannot be laid at the door of the gold price and the strong dollar: the blame lies with the politics of the Government.
The second reason for the crises in confidence is the continual over-expenditure and wasteful expenditure by the Government. Various Government speakers have tried to deny this, usually by trying to introduce red herrings. The hon the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, for example, though that the best way of answering charges of Government over-expenditure was to ask us whether we did not want expenditure on Black education. Really, Sir, that may be the kind of answer which is good for SATV or Current Affairs, but, if he is in any doubt, let me say to him that we spend too little on Black education, not too much. If he really thinks that that is the beginning and end of a discussion on Government over-expenditure, then he is not very bright. The fact is that, whenever the Government has to choose between saving money and implementing its ideology, ideology wins.
Would you explain that?
I am just about to. The hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education illustrated this well in respect of Black education. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition talked about the waste of resources by the duplication of teachers and facilities. The hon the Minister referred to duplicate teachers and said that the solution was not integration or “saamgooi”, but the provision of more facilities—and I quote one sentence from his unrevised Hansard:
Sir, the Minister is an intelligent person. Nobody put forward the point which he started arguing against and I believe he knew that he had a weak argument, otherwise he would not have argued against an argument we did not advance. In the context in which we were speaking, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition was not talking about integration as an objective, but of maximum utilization of resources, and it does not help for the hon the Minister to avoid the issue. Let me just take two examples concerning which he appears to have difficulties. We all know that there are White teacher-training colleges throughout South Africa which are half full. Some are actually being closed because we do not need all the teachers, while in some cases there may not have been enough applicants. Generally speaking, however, it is because we do not need the teachers. In that situation millions of rand are wasted because there are buildings that are underutilized or sometimes empty. Staff are wasted because in many instances, whilst there is obviously a limit to the size of a class, whether a teacher is teaching eight people or 12 or 15, he will normally be able to manage a class of that size. We also do the same sort of thing at schools. I cannot understand what the big hangup is about training colleges. The Government allows universities to admit people and we have integrated universities, including Afrikaans-language universities, throughout our country in which there are students of different racial groups. The duplication of teachers involves the discarding of qualified teachers. There are thousands of qualified and aspirant White teachers who are not wanted by our education system and are turned away, while other spheres outside the White education system are desperately in need of those teachers. I believe that we will not really get around to solving our problems in Black education in this country until we find a way of utilizing the resources of all our trained teachers, which in essence, if we are talking of surpluses, include White teachers in a way that is acceptable both to the White teachers themselves and to the Black communities in which they will have to teach. That is the shortest route to bringing about a massive improvement in Black education in this country. But once again, ideology rules supreme irrespective of the cost.
The Government’s attitude to expenditure is reflected not only in the magnitude of its expenditure but also in its whole approach to economizing. The State President referred to this today when he referred to the Public Service. I have pointed out that it has grown faster than the economy or the population so there is nothing to be proud of there. Of course, a particular growth area is the Cabinet. In 1978 the State President, then the Prime Minister, talked about efficient administration and rationalization. At that time there were 17 Cabinet Ministers and six Deputy Ministers. Today there are 16 White General Affairs Ministers plus four White Own Affairs Ministers plus 10 Deputy Ministers plus five Coloured Ministers and five Indian Ministers. I want to look at the White Ministers only because I do not want to get involved in an argument about the new constitution. They now have fewer responsibilities because there are now Coloured and Indian Ministers looking after certain things. Nevertheless, in this era of rationalization, the number has increased from 17 to 20 and the number of Deputy Ministers from six to 10. Is this rationalization? Is it surprising therefore that caution is exercised in reacting to the State President’s speech?
I want to take another example of the attitude towards expenditure. On 16 January this year several Standing Committee meetings took place. Some meetings were necessary but others were a complete waste of time and money. I want to take the example of the Standing Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs. Twenty-two members were brought to Cape Town from all parts of South Africa, for example from Oudtshoorn, Calvinia, Kenhardt, Adelaide, Durban, Koffiefontein, Middelburg and Carolina. Many members made special journeys, and the cost to the taxpayer must have been at least R10 000. And for what? To consider a Bill. The memorandum on the objects of the Bill states that certain differences exist between the English and Afrikaans texts of section 13 of the Agricultural Pests Act and that the object of the Bill is to remove the said differences. It is a one-clause Bill and there is one letter in the English text and one letter in the Afrikaans text which have to be changed, and they bring all these members to Cape Town just for that. The meeting lasted for only a few minutes. It is wasting money to try to pretend that MPs are busily involved in constructive work and that the new system is functioning well.
These are just two small examples of the Government’s wasteful expenditure, but they reflect a general attitude. The Government has preached financial discipline but has practised continual overspending on its budget. It is no surprise that it has little credibility. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition identified some areas where savings could and should be made. There are many others, but in essence expenditure needs to be examined in detail to effect savings on a broad front. An appropriate body to do this would be the Standing Committee on Finance. Let everyone make a contribution to finding ways of using taxpayers’ money to best effect. I challenge the hon the Minister of Finance to allow the budget to be scrutinized in such a way that real savings can be made by looking at certain items.
A third reason for the crisis in confidence is the inability of the Government to make the necessary political and economic plans to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for this country.
The State President’s speech was cautiously welcomed. However, we have been disappointed and frustrated in the past by delays to implement things which appeared to sound good in the first place. For example, how long has it taken to open central business districts in South Africa to all races? What about the Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act? The Government has been mumbling about changing that for years. Leasehold in Western Cape Black townships was announced at the NP’s congress last September, but it is not a reality yet, and so we can go on. The previous Prime Minister asked to be given 6 months, and we are still waiting. The De Lange Report was timidly implemented without adopting its true spirit. This year there has been a New Crossroads rent dispute. The hon the Minister asked the people there to channel their representations in respect of problems through the community council and through their two representatives on it. What is the situation with those two representatives? When they were elected in November 1983, one was unopposed, so it is impossible to tell how much support he had in his ward, and the other one now by a margin of 18 votes to 16 in a 1,47% poll; in other words, 18 votes from an electorate of 2 316. However, the Government insists on playing along as if these people were the leaders of their community.
On the economic front, we need soundly based growth. To achieve this, investors need to feel confident that they can take sensible investment risks with a realistic expectation of obtaining a reasonable return. Unfortunately, given the Government’s track record in these matters, we can have a little confidence that they are going to do this. It gives me great pleasure to support the motion of no confidence of my leader.
I want firstly to touch briefly on a couple of the points that the hon member for Cape Town Gardens raised. The aspect on which I agree with him, is the fact that there is a lack of confidence doing the rounds among all sectors of the population in this country. There is a sense of gloom, and there is a general feeling that things are out of control. Therefore, from that point of view, I do, to a certain extent, go along with his remarks.
With regard to his comments in relation to the Standing Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs being convened for such a small matter, I think we might regard this as teething problems. We can profit from these lessons and can probably expect a more realistic approach in the convening of standing committee meetings in the future.
I also want to refer, very briefly to some of the points that were made by the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I am very glad that the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs is here. We have heard all the reasons from the Government’s side in regard to justifiable reprisals in connection with what we may refer to as the Coventry four. I recently took a trip to the UK, and to me this was one of the most embarrassing matters I had to defend. It was brought to my attention on nearly every occasion when I met either business people or people who happened to be in positions of some authority. There is no doubt about it that if one is going to judge whether this was the correct verdict or not, I think one must take cognizance of the feelings of the public in countries like the UK. Those people made it, very clear that there was no way in which they could really support the concept of the South African Government reneging on its court undertaking. What became equally clear to me, as it would to others who had been overseas, is the fact that we are not defending adequately our side of the story overseas. Whether it be in the USA, Canada or Britain, the performance of our embassies has left a lot to be desired in presenting the other side of the picture.
I reject that.
That hon Deputy Minister can reject it as much as he likes, but when one listens to the man in the street in those countries, one realizes how ineffectual the impact of our propaganda is. I refer, for example, to the impact that emanated from South Africa House prior to the appointment of Dr Worrall as Ambassador. For years prior to that, the performance of South Africa House has been regarded as being absolutely pathetic.
You are talking tripe.
I am not talking tripe.
Furthermore, people who support South Africa, people who trade with South Africa, people who have been to South Africa, all came up with the one cry: “For goodness sake, give us an opportunity of defending your cause by making provision for the other side of the picture to be presented.” That is something I should like to leave with the hon the Deputy Minister.
I wish to refer briefly to the informal non-statutory forum which was referred to in the speech of the State President and which has been referred to repeatedly in this Chamber during the past few days. The NRP has repeatedly expressed its approval of the extension of constitutional reform to a fourth Chamber. I must point out that the mechanics by means of which this forum must function must be correct in every sense. I must warn also that certain procedures must be complied with. It is most important that the forum be brought into the realm of this Parliament. Parliament must not in any way be seen as being undermined. If this was to happen, the credibility of Parliament could be affected detrimentally. We might possibly find a power forum talking to Parliament. There must therefore be a direct link with Parliament. Otherwise random rules and regulations could be made if discussions were held at extra-parliamentary level.
It is somewhat surprising to find that after four days of debate in this Chamber one of the most important issues in the economic field has not yet been referred to. I wish to refer to the critical situation in which agriculture now finds itself. I want to warn the Government that it has a major crisis on its hands. This is well portrayed by the fact that the agricultural debt is now in excess of R10 billion. This is a frightening situation, particularly when one bears in mind that this debt, like any debt, has got to be repaid. When one looks at the composition of the debt, one finds that the Land Bank is responsible for financing only 17% of this enormous debt, the commercial banks 30% and the co-operatives 24%, while private debt accounts for the remaining 29%. This means that at present agriculture is virtually bequeathing a debt-committed legacy to posterity.
I must refer, though, to the assistance that the Government has rendered in relation to drought relief measures.
It is good.
It is good; it is appreciated by all sectors and I for one do not disregard the impact of the drought as a factor which has had a very serious effect on the economy. This, however, is not getting to the root cause of the farmers’ financial problems. The financial position has deteriorated to such an extent that a new approach must now be adopted in an attempt to make agriculture a viable proposition once more.
There are three forms of agriculture: Extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive. It is well-known that extensive farming involves low cost, low stocking rates, and large tracts of land. Semi-intensive agriculture covers the field of mixed farming. Intensive agricultural farming is speciality farming involving dairy farming, cash crops, seed production, and so on. The largest proportion of agricultural production falls under the last two categories. In this particular respect, input costs affect semi-intensive and intensive types of farming more than any other sector. It must be remembered that the major portion of products emanates from these two areas of agriculture. The farming sector is well aware of the need to produce food at a price the consumer can afford. We accept that consumer subsidies do not provide the longterm answer. One realizes that there is also a significant danger of agricultural products being priced off the market and being replaced by others.
So one inevitably asks oneself where all this will end. The one aspect that is clear— and I must draw the Government’s attention to these facts—is that farmers in many intensive and semi-intensive areas are heading for calamity and disaster. Realization of this fact has driven farmers in the Natal Midlands to adopt drastic measures by which to highlight their predicament. I would appeal to the Government not to lose sight of the significance of this demonstration. It is not a case of whether one goes along with it or not; but this demonstration has a certain significance. It does illustrate the attitude of desperate people in a desperate situation, people who are frustrated, and who do not know what the future holds. I, together with other members of this House, shall be addressing a meeting on a non-political basis. It is far too important and far too serious a matter to embark on party-political issues at this stage. We are faced with this position. What do we do? It is quite apparent in the light of diminishing consumer spending that one cannot ask that producer prices be increased to meet increased production costs. Therefore, some other means must be found to ensure the future viability of semi-intensive and intensive farming enterprises. To me this lies in the need for an in-depth investigation into ways and means whereby input costs can be restrained. Therefore, I wish to appeal to the hon the Minister to initiate an enquiry into this matter for the purpose of ascertaining what steps can be taken to keep input costs to a minimum. Secondly, it should also be ascertained whether it is in the public interest that the agricultural sector should carry so large a burden in financing protective measures associated with the production of essential strategic commodities. Farmers are sick and tired of being kicked around like the proverbial football where they are subjected to arbitrary price increases for commodities which are essential to the productivity of their enterprises.
In support of this statement, let me deal with the recently announced increase in the price of fertilizer. I regret that time does not permit me to expound upon this and to express my feelings as adequately as I would like to do. May I, however, just say that I see the price increases as having catastrophic consequences on the intensive farming sector. Secondly, from explanations given, the recent price increases are iniquitous, unjustified and disgraceful. The farmer is merely being exploited by the fertilizer industry which attempts to hide behind these increases as a result of the low value of the rand. I would like to point out that this is an irrelevant argument. The rand value does not bear relevance to all the price increases which have been announced, except in the case of potash, which is not produced locally, and to a lesser degree sulphur, which is used in superphosphate manufacture.
The price increase associated with imported potash is 26%. For urea the price increase is 23%, and that is produced locally, the price of limestone ammonium nitrate produced locally has been increased by 22%. So much for the removal of price control! I welcome the fact that the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry has indicated that the Competition Board will investigate the question of cartels operating in the tyre, cement and fertilizer industries. These all affect the farmer.
Finally, I wish to call on the Government to conduct as a matter of urgency a full enquiry into the fertilizer industry in order to establish, firstly, the problems being experienced by fertilizer manufacturers and, secondly, the justification for the recently announced price increases.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Mooi River usually makes a good contribution to debates in this House. He referred to the handling of the question regarding the Coventry Four. I think he probably made his notes before he heard the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs speaking this afternoon. I would refer the hon member to the hon the Minister’s Hansard. I think most of the points he raised have been answered. However I think he also made an unjustified statement. I think he said: “The man in the street in the United Kingdom is very badly informed on South African affairs”. For that state of affairs he criticized the South African Information Service and the Foreign Affairs’ officials in great Britain. They do a difficult job in a very, very difficult situation. Surely he knows of the onesidedness of the BBC, the British media and the newspaper world. It is difficult to get that message across overseas and I think that those people do a pretty good job under very difficult circumstances.
The hon member is more on home ground when he speaks about agriculture. I do not think that there are many people in this House who know as much about agriculture, particularly in his part of the world, as he does. The hon the Minister of Agricultural Economic and of Water Affairs will be able to deal with those matters that he raised, but I thank him for raising them.
The hon member for Cape Town Gardens is a horse of another colour altogether. He referred in his usual snide manner to Mandela’s being a political prisoner. He ought to know that Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in South Africa for incitement to revolution and violence. [Interjections.] He committed criminal offences. He is not a political prisoner at all. [Interjections.]
Allow me to ask that hon member a question. A few days ago the hon member for Sandton referred to the UDF, and in a lapsus linguae he was heard to say: “Some of us do not agree with the UDF”. Surely that means that “Others in the PFP do agree with the UDF”. [Interjections.] I would like to ask the hon member for Cape Town Gardens whether he has any sympathy for the UDF and whether he goes to their meetings? he has been seen in some funny places in the past year or so. [Interjections.] Let me therefore ask him specifically whether he has been to any of the UDF or anti-national service meetings here in the Peninsula. Some very familiar faces have been seen at those meetings, and I would like to ask the hon gentleman whether he was present at any of them. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Sandton is known for his extravagant phraseology and for keeping his eyes on the Press Gallery when he speaks. [Interjections.] On Tuesday he was obviously thinking of newspaper headlines on Wednesday. He said, deliberately, that the army was used against Blacks in ghettos where they are forced to live. Those words are typical of the sort of distorted picture that he and others who report him wish to send overseas. Even the British newspaper, The Guardian, which is hardly a friend of South Africa, recently said that the bad press coverage that South Africa gets overseas comes from the pens of our own journalists. It is people like the hon member who feed the pens of those journalists. Why does he use the word “ghettos”? There are plenty of other words that he could have used to describe the situation that he was talking about. Why did he use the word “ghettos”? [Interjections.]
He used it because of the connotation that the world attaches to the word “ghettos”, namely those places in cities where dispossessed men congregated in fear of the gas chambers. It is all part of the emotive language that the Law gentlemen on that side of the House choose. Then at the end of his speech he had the effrontery to talk about himself as being a patriotic South African.
Of course there are urban areas of which we are not proud. Just as in the rest of the world there are slums and settlements of which those other nations are ashamed, so too do we have slum conditions and we are trying to do something about them. However, to imply that Blacks live in ghettos in the sense that the world will understand that word, is a downright falsification.
Let me remind him, because he seems to have a very shallow memory, of the proud boast of the old United Party administration in Johannesburg, the party of which he was a member. That administration always claimed that Soweto was its pride and joy and an example to the rest of the Republic. May I ask him whether he calls Soweto a ghetto?
Sir, not every township can be a Soweto. Not every township has the same amenities as Soweto. We simply cannot afford the provision of schools, hospitals, amenities and stadia in every Black urban area by a wave of a magic wand. South Africa can be proud of what is done for its poor and underprivileged in the Republic. [Interjections.]
There is an old saying that leopards can never change their spots. I should say that even with his AWB beard the hon member for Bryanston will never be sufficiently disguised so as not to be recognized by those of us here in the House who know him, no matter how hard he tries. [Interjections.] May I ask him, purely as a matter of interest, whether he is back in the PFP caucus? Is he back there now that the MPC for Bryanston has apparently been restored to honour in the Randburg PFP city council?
I am in the caucus; I have never been out of it. [Interjections.]
Well, if he is in the PFP caucus I wish to make a prediction now. I will make the prediction that the hon member for Bryanston will not be in the PFP caucus for very long. His condemnation that the Kennedy visit had been a disservice to liberalism, means that his days in the PFP, in my opinion, are numbered. [Interjections.] However, after his speech yesterday I should say that his number is really up and that what I predict is going to happen very shortly. [Interjections.]
Other speakers in this debate have referred to the PFP congress in Johannesburg in November 1984. I want to appeal to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, because he is a careful, cautious and courteous sort of man, when he and his party arrange another congress on the Witwatersrand or anywhere else, to be a little more sensitive. Let him please remember that the Chief Rabbi of Johannesburg and the hon member for Yeoville have problems about attending the opening of a congress on a Friday evening!
I am indebted, I must say, to two local newspapers for some fascinating reports on facets of that congress in Johannesburg. They referred to the state of affairs in the Official Opposition. I believe we should give our attention to this situation. I have a cutting here from The Argus of 20 November 1984, from which I shall quote. The headline reads: “the incompatibility of a political marriage.” The report then states:
It goes on to say:
Now one can imagine what deep philosophy is shared between the hon member for Yeoville and the hon member for Houghton! The newspaper report carried on as follows:
Then it goes on to say a propos of the Transvaal congress:
I believe the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition owes us an explanation. I think he should tell us about the situation in this party. [Interjections.]
Then there is another quotation I want to read, this one being from The Cape Times of the day after. Under the heading “Now it is Harry against the Prog OGs” … For the benefit of those hon members who do not know all these political terminologies, let me explain that OGs refer to the Old Guards.
You were once one of the Old Guards.
I shall come to that in a minute. [Interjections.] The report then states:
Then it goes on: “But the Progs could not leave well alone.” This is a fascinating bit of political history. The report continues:
I assume that everybody remembers the grumbling about the mysterious clique in the PFP by Mr Schwarz. Mr John Scott concludes by saying:
There must be many people in this House who do not know that those gentlemen, whom I have already mentioned—the hon members for Yeoville, Bryanston and Sandton—and the hon member for Wynberg as well as those two briefless barristers from Cape Town, the hon member for Groote Schuur and the hon member for Green Point, some years ago received considerable press coverage as the Young Turks in the United Party.
Mr chairman, on a point of order, is the hon the Minister permitted to reflect upon the professional capacity of another hon member?
I ask the hon the Minister to withdraw the reflections. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I withdraw it but I was commenting simply on my experience of the gentlemen at that particular time. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister must withdraw unreservedly.
I do so, Sir. The same gentlemen also received political notoriety for being expelled from the party to which they belonged for gross disloyalty to the leadership of that party.
That is not true.
The hon member for Sandton referred to those on the far right of the political spectrum—with typical alliteration—as the “White Right”. [Interjections.] Since then I have been trying to think of a fitting description for him and the erstwhile Young Turks. I have come to the conclusion that they should be referred to as the “Bereft Left”—bereft of all power, bereft of all influence in the PFP, and—I believe before the next election—bereft of their nominations. [Interjections.]
I am sorry that the hon member for Yeoville is not here because I wanted to ask him whether he attended the recent conference that took place with Swapo. I read in the newspaper that the hon members for Sea Point and Pinelands attended a conference with Swapo. I wonder now whether the hon member for Yeoville and the hon member for Wynberg were present at that conference. I wonder if I could ask those who were present whether they discussed unity with Swapo, whether they discussed a common strategy with Swapo and whether they agreed on ongoing consultations with Swapo. I so, I should like to know whether the hon members for Yeoville and Wynberg will be indued in those further consultations.
I do not want to waste my time on the rest of the PFP. Even the Kennedy circus ignored them. I do, however, find it a little strange that with the previous visit of a Kennedy to South Africa—it was Bobby Kennedy—every PFP member that one saw in Cape Town walked around with a little lapel badge, depicting the torpedo boat which was the insignia of John Kennedy, the former President of the USA. This time I did not see any PFP members in any way associating themselves with Ted Kennedy. [Interjections.] However, the hon member for Bryanston did in fact dissociate himself from Ted Kennedy and it is for that reason that I maintain that his days are numbered.
I regard the PFP as an irrelevant opposition party in the RSA, but here in Cape Town they have infiltrated the Cape Town City Council where we have an example of Prog government—Progs in power. Even though the PFP municipal administration knew full well how overcrowded the beaches of both the Atlantic coastline and the False Bay coastline already were, they nevertheless decided on the eve of the summer season to announce that all municipal facilities would be open to all.
Chaos has ensued and the Prog newspapers here in the city are overwhelmed with letters of protest at overcrowding, lack of sanitary facilities and hopelessly inadequate beach patrols. Tourists vow in the columns of those newspapers that they will never come back to the “Fairest Cape”, and tourism is after all Cape Town’s primary industry.
After all the harm that they have done by their decision to inter-group relations, after they have encouraged people to flout the existing laws, the Prog city councillors all of a sudden have taken fright.
You are lucky the State President is not here at the moment.
Why have they all of a sudden taken fright? They saw what happened to their provincial council leader in Sea Point in the last municipal elections, and they know what will happen to them at the next municipal council elections here in the Peninsula. That is why Sonnenberg and Gross and company all now want something to be done about law and order and standards, but what they have done to Cape Town by their irresponsibility is a disgrace. They have utterly neglected to provide adequate seaside facilities. It was not necessary to spend millions of rand on luxurious civic centres and to burden ratepayers for years to come.
Luxury amenities are not needed on the beaches. Simple facilities like tidal pools, changing rooms, toilets and parking areas are what are needed here in the Peninsula.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon the Minister is not prepared to allow questions. The hon member for Pietermaritzburg South must resume his seat.
I want to say that existing seaside communities are entitled to use the natural facilities near which they live and not to be deprived of them by an uncontrolled influx of people which makes them utterly unusable by all people who wish to observe decent standards. Local people must be given protection and the right to enjoy local facilities. I believe they should have season tickets to the beaches near which they live and that quotas should be imposed in respect of the numbers of people using those beaches.
None of those Progs who are in the city council has seen about the provision of amenities. They have failed utterly to provide sufficient and adequate facilities for the people of Cape Town. By their most recent action they have encouraged a flouting of the law and they have shown a deliberate disregard for the interests of the ratepayers and visitors to Cape Town, and tourism is absolutely essential for us in this part of the world.
The Government is going out of its way to promote tourism. In the Tourism Board’s publications overseas visitors are invited to see South Africa in all its variety and its fascination. Its most recent film, South Africa: The Best Kept Secret, is a production in which every single South African would take pride. I want to recommend the seeing of this film, even to the hon members opposite.
You must show it to South Africa!
Order! The hon member for Bryanston is not allowed to shout across the floor of the house. The hon the Minister may continue.
We are going out of our way to earn more revenue through tourism. It can be an enormous economic asset to the Republic with the present dollar/rand exchange rates. We are attracting great numbers of Americans, West Germans and Britons as well. We have a well-planned and a well co-ordinated tourism policy. Satour offices overseas are doing all they can to bring tourists to the Republic. Internally and externally we are trying to improve the tourist capability of the Republic, and I think the results are there for all to see.
The other objective of bringing tourists here is, of course, to give tens of thousands of people the opportunity of seeing for themselves. We believe that overseas tourists go back better informed and better disposed towards us in the Republic. Judging from letters and reports, we also seem to be succeeding in this vital objective. We aim to turn tourism into a billion dollar project in South Africa.
Although there is internal unrest and there are efforts to discourage tourism to South Africa by overseas groups and the disinvestment lobby, the present figures indicate that we are achieving success in this highly important field.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism made an interesting speech and I do not intend commenting on it, associating myself with it, or detracting from it. If former brothers who know one another better than we know ourselves speak to one another in that manner, I suppose outsiders had better remain outside.
That immediately brings me to the speech the hon member for Gezina made this afternoon. It has become customary that almost each time the hon member for Gezina rises to make a speech in this House, we are not given a speech, but a kind of confession. I do not mind if a person confesses about his personal past. However, if the confession is made on behalf of the White man and on behalf of the Afrikaner people in particular, I suppose one should take notice.
This afternoon we were told by that hon member that one of the biggest shortcomings of the Afrikaner in particular in the past up until Friday, was our laager mentality. We have been accustomed to receiving that complaint from the PFP and others in the past. This afternoon for the first time this hon member came forward with the allegation that after the announcement of the State President on Friday we now have proof that the Afrikaner—and apparently the Afrikaner who belongs to the NP—has got rid of his laager mentality. That was because—and this was his argument—we, through the State President, have now declared ourselves willing to negotiate with other leaders of other peoples and population groups in this country.
I think the hon member is insulting previous leaders of the NP. Negotiations with the leaders of Black people, Brown people and Indians are not taking place for the first time in this country. Surely this has been done for decades. In the past we have always prided ourselves in the fact that this has been done successfully. So much for that hon member, however.
When the hon the leader of the NP in the Transvaal, the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education, participated in the debate, he referred to the standpoint of the CP in a somewhat bitter tone. He claimed that we distort things. I do not think he used the word “distort”, but something to that effect. The hon member for Yeoville then warned him, saying that he should take no notice of the members of the CP; he should wholeheartedly support the so-called new initiatives of the State President. The hon member for Yeoville committed an error of judgment, however. The hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education did not make his speech so much for the sake of the CP, but for the sake of the remaining verkramptes who sit there behind him. He made his speech for the sake of the thousands of verkramptes outside who still vote for the NP without knowing what the present policy of the NP is. [Interjections.]
I should like to refer to the opening speech of the State President. He made an important announcement concerning the intentions of his Government in respect of negotiations with Black people on property rights, citizenship and the creation of a so-called—if I understood him correctly—informal forum for negotiation. We were looking forward with interest to further elucidation and particulars in this debate, particularly from the Cabinet and the speakers on the Government side. Not one of the speakers on the other side were bubbling over with enthusiasm to give us the details, however. In his speech the State President said we have now come to the end of a colonial past. However, I think we came to the end of that a while ago, but we have not yet come to the end of the problems the colonial heritage left behind as a legacy to Africa, as well as to Southern Africa. In my opinion, the single biggest problem Africa inherited from the colonial past is that during the colonial era borders or boundaries were demarcated on the African Continent and throughout Southern Africa in particular, without due regard for the population distribution of Africa.
As I understand the ethnic policy of the NP at that time, our highest ideal was as far as possible to rectify that injustice of the colonial past; to redemarcate borders in the southern part of the continent so that as far as possible peoples can be consolidated geographically. We also regarded it as being our highest calling that peoples should not be separated from one another in any sphere of life, not in the political sphere either. Therefore, in the homeland policy of the NP as I always understood it …
Are you still National, then?
I still happen to be a nationalist, even though I do not belong to the NP.
The homeland policy was developed with that objective in mind, and it was our ideal to give every Black people in this country its own fatherland and, in conjunction with that, its own citizenship. It was also our policy and our standpoint that that citizenship of every Black man in this country was linked, and would remain linked, to his own father-land and to the people to which he belonged, regardless of where he lives. [Interjections.]
The other day the hon the Minister of Communications and of Public Works made the amazing allegation that Dr Connie Mulder had accepted the very policy the NP is advocating now. In this regard I just want to quote what Dr Connie Mulder said at that time when he was Minister of Co-operation and Development. On Tuesday, 7 February 1978, he said the following here in this House:
[Interjections]. At that time I was a member of the caucus of the NP and there was not a single objection—not from the hon member for Innesdal either—to that standpoint of Dr Connie Mulder.
What about the Blacks themselves?
The hon member for Innesdal did not stand up then….
Do not be personal.
I am not being personal; we are debating now.
Not a single member of the NP’s caucus stood up and repudiated or questioned Dr Connie Mulder’s standpoint.
Will there still be Blacks in Soweto in terms of your policy?
Yes, there will be.
There will always be Black people in South Africa.
There is therefore permanence.
However, it was the standpoint of the NP that the citizenship of the Black people—wherever they may be— would be linked to their own fatherlands. We conducted lengthy debates with the PFP; in fact, the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education joined us in debating against them. We also specifically debated citizenship as far as legislation on independence for Transkei was concerned, and we accepted that as soon as Transkei became independent all Transkeians—wherever they may be—would become citizens of Transkei, and not be citizens of South Africa. The same applied to Bophuthatswana, Venda, as well as Ciskei. What do we find now, however? Now we find the State President saying in his opening speech that clarity must be reached—“clarity must be reached about citizenship”. We have never been unclear on that score, however. It has always been our standpoint that as the Black states gain independence, those who belong to their peoples would become citizens of those states and lose their South African citizenship. The new announcement of the State President therefore only means one thing, viz that under the leadership of the State President and of the present Cabinet, the NP has relinquished that standpoint. It cannot mean anything else. If anyone on the opposite side again wishes to accuse me of distortion, they must state the contrary.
What are the facts, however? There are thousands upon thousands of citizens of Transkei and the other states who are now gaining permanence in South Africa in terms of the policy of the NP and who are citizens of those four independent states. I ask: Is it the standpoint of the NP that that citizenship is now going to be terminated? Is it the NP’s standpoint that those people are once again going to become citizens of South Africa now? Tell us that. In the past the PFP has told us that they want to go to a national convention to negotiate with all the leaders. We plagued them and asked which cards they were going to lay on the table. What is the NP doing now, however? There has been a tremendous breakthrough, and what is the breakthrough? The significant announcement that they are now prepared to create a forum under the leadership of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to speak to the other people. That is the breakthrough. Surely we have the right to ask, in the first instance, which cards the NP is prepared to lay on the table, and even more important, what the Government—because it is no longer just the NP— is prepared to do? We want an answer to that. [Interjections.]
However, to me it is abundantly clear that the NP no longer has a standpoint. They now want to go to that conference table to ascertain what their standpoint should be. As for us, let us be accused of rigidity, or whatever, we remain ardent supporters of the proper development of the Black father-lands in South Africa and the maximum exertion of our efforts to develop those states to full-fledged states that can stand on their own feet.
If I could refer briefly to the State President’s standpoint on land tenure within the…
But the State President also had a standpoint on independence, which you are ignoring.
Just give me a chance to make my own speech. The State President adopted the standpoint that land tenure should be promoted within the national states. No person in his right mind could disagree with that. I think we all agree that joint land tenure is one of the main problems connected with proper agricultural development in the Black states.
I wish to conclude. The NP must not accuse us of distortion. All I ask of the NP is that when they alter their course they should spell it out to the voters in a language no one can misinterpret. Do not try to hide and pretend that there have been no changes in NP policy, because no one believes the Government anymore in any case.
Mr Chairman, since the hon the State President made his speech, a number of enquiries have reached us in connection with a certain aspect of it. In his speech he referred to the situation with regard to a specific security prisoner, as well as with regard to other prisoners to whom the hon member for Houghton has also referred. To the extent that it concerns them, the content of that speech will be communicated to those concerned. Normally they receive their newspapers, but to ensure that what the State President said in his speech is communicated to them correctly, we shall arrange that a copy of this speech be given to each, as soon as it is available. Any reaction from their side will take place through the official channels which were available to them in the past and are available to them now, and will be made known to the authorities.
If you get going now, you can get it to them before supper.
We note that nowadays the hon member for Bryanston is camouflaged behind a luxuriant growth. What has he proved to us by doing that? All he has proved, is the extent to which he suits the description that that very famous student of communism, Vayko, gives in his work How to be a Communist. I tried to apply this description to the hon member for Bryanston, but found that he is not a communist. He proved this with his camouflage, his growth. Vayko says:
I ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition to be present and I request that he be excused after I have told him what I should like to communicate to him. I want to deal with a matter which he touched on in his speech.
May I put a question to the hon the Minister?
No. In his opening speech, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition referred amongst other things to expenditure in connection with security matters and expenditure by the Department of Justice with regard to prisoners. He said then: “Every time a magistrate or court official has to judge an influx control contravention, this Government is wasting money. In the Langa court we are told they are processed at the rate of 90 seconds per case.” He then referred to the expenditure on prisoners budgeted for in the 1984-85 financial year. He then said: “Our prisons are hopelessly overcrowded with pass law offenders. Each such prisoner costs the taxpayer unnecessary money which this Government is wasting.” The hon the Leader creates the impression that prisons are over-populated as a result of the detention of people who have contravened influx control measures. This is an outrageous idea that the hon the Leader is sending out into the world, because it is not true. Briefly, the facts are the following: As long ago as 1983, a report appeared in the Sunday Express about so-called “jam-packed jails”. It alleges that approximately 40% of the Black prison population is being held in connection with the contravention of influx control measures. We spoke to the newspaper editor concerned, and conducted an interview with a reporter. Subsequently they made a rectification, and on 2 January 1983 they admitted in the rectifying report that only 1,82% of the total number of prisoners on 31 March, were being held in connection with the contravention of influx control measures, and not 40% as the newspaper had alleged. Eventually this led to the newspaper’s objecting to the Press Council having purportedly reprimanded it. The piece as it appeared in the newspaper, reads:
The matter was then rectified, but the hon member for Houghton nevertheless pursued the matter again at a later occasion. In a debate the hon member queried the information I gave, namely that we have a relatively low percentage of occupation by offenders of influx control measures. The hon member obliged me to have a special survey carried out among heads of prisons, who had to sign sworn statements, and the finding was that only 5,19% of the prison population on 30 April 1984 were offenders of this kind. As yet the hon member for Houghton has not apologized, but the fact remains that the hon member accepted this, to judge by her attitude, and did not make the mistake again. I thought that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition had taken cognizance of the matter.
In addition it is bewildering how the hon the leader reacts to real reform of our penal systems, of our court systems and so on. As a result of a decision of this Parliament we arranged some time ago that the adjudication of control offenders fall under the Department of Justice, whereas previously it fell under a different department. What happened then? A few months later the same newspaper which had previously co-operated in rectifying the matter, the Sunday Express, wrote: “Pass laws justice empties the jails.” That is a slightly distorted picture, but the fact remains that they admit that even that new process of adjudication has brought about a change.
One becomes disheartened. Why does one spend money, why does one spend the taxpayers’ money, if the Leader of the Official Opposition continues to broadcast this misrepresentation? I think he owes us an explanation. Our prisons are overpopulated, but why is this the case? There are people who must be there. [Interjections.] According to an analysis on 31 December 1984 we had the following offenders, representative of different categories, as guests in the prisons: Murder 5 800, culpable homicide 4 500, economic crimes 36 000, and so on. Included in the figure 6 740 are control transgressors, as well as people in possession of firearms and explosives, pickpockets, breakers of parole and other offenders. I think the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition can advance any other argument with regard to the over-population, but he cannot allow this mistaken idea to continue to circulate. So much for the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.
I now want to come to the hon member for Barberton. He has been in this House for a very long time and undoubtedly has not studied the debates with regard to citizenship and so forth. The hon member for Barberton as well as the hon member for Lichtenburg will know that when we debated the independence of Transkei, one of the most fundamental problems that the House was up against, was the substance of citizenship. As the matter was debated then— the hon member can look up the debates— two facets were at issue. The first was true citizenship, concerning the right to vote and the rights which are peculiar to municipal rights, local right. However, it also concerned a broader citizenship which Cowen described as “nationality” and which was accepted for the purpose of our debate as a kind of citizenship which concerns international relations.
Which debate was that? Name us one of the debates concerned. Quote to us from it.
Oh really, sir, we cannot start teaching from the very beginning again. This is material which was available to everyone who could read and which was distributed by the Department. At that time Minister M C Botha based his approach on it. The intention was specifically to escape from the dilemma that one had given citizenship equivalent to the municipal right with the right to vote. You could not withdraw the broader privileges included in citizenship, such as being served by an embassy, having travel documents and acting in the world of international law. What has that entailed? What it entailed was that we had negotiated with each of these independent states to handle those rights for them on a contractual basis. The hon member knows that that is true.
You are confused.
The hon member knows that that is correct and that it could not happen any other way, because on that basis the states accepted independence in the knowledge that they were protected where the outside world did not recognize their citizenship. The hon member knows that that is correct. The hon member for Barberton therefore regaled the House with an argument based on a totally wrong approach, or as a lawyer would put it, a totally wrong premise. So much for the hon member for Barberton.
I just want to ask him whether he is prepared to serve in the Black forum if he receives an invitation.
Is he Black?
Let us suppose he is invited to represent his party there. He said that we have talked to Black people for years and that, of course, is correct. What is more, did the hon member for Rissik not support the concept of a Black House?
Yes, in conjunction with the President’s Council. Of course he did.
Were you present at the debate or in the Select Committee when I stated my point of view?
The PFP submitted a minority report about that point and unequivocally stated their point of view that they did not go along with the Presidents Council’s motion, because it implied a separate Black House.
How was that Black House made up?
The hon member did not emerge on the side of the PFP then. It is on record that he did not side with the PFP. Those hon members say that there is nothing strange in our having negotiated with the Black people through the years, and that is correct. Paul Kruger did it. Our forefathers did it and our descendants are going to do so more intensively than we. The question is what the standpoint will be now of the people who are prepared to take part in a structured situation.
Let us both go and put our point of view in Harrismith.
We shall return to Harrismith.
This brings me to the hon member for Rissik, and there are many points to deal with concerning the hon member for Rissik. In this debate the hon member for Rissik asked the hon member for Bloemfontein East what his point of view was with regard to separate development, because he alleges—and this also concerns the independence of Black states—that we have abandoned our policy. The hon member for Barberton asked the same question. Of course, this is a fair question if one cannot read, or cannot understand, but the State President put our point of view unequivocally as follows:
And that is new, it is dynamic, and it is original. The hon member for Lichtenburg must still deal with it. I quote again:
What is the State President doing here? He is creating a vision for the resolution of a deadlock which that hon member for Lichtenburg admitted, when he was still Deputy Minister, and later when he was a Minister, when he asked what the position was of the self-governing national states which had reached an intermediate stage. What will the further development be of these states which achieved a measure of self-government and want to protect and cherish it? How do they fit into the multilateral situation? Can one always keep them subject to bilateral situations? This is the kind of question that must now be answered. The hon members knows that it is true. He struggle with it himself, and if we search in his past, we shall find a positive attitude concerning this. This is the answer to the hon member for Rissik.
That is no answer.
It is the answer. Allow me to refer the hon member for Rissik to his attack on the integrity of the leader of the NP in the Orange Free State, the true leader, not the CP leader in the Orange Free State. He has accused him of abdicating and giving up. [Interjections.] He says we are no longer able to govern. If one reads the hon member’s speech properly, one will see that what he demands for himself is brutal White dominance.
Over the Whites, yes.
Brutal dominance. [Interjections.] This is our dilemma concerning that hon member.
What did the leader of the NP in the Free State, the hon member for Bethlehem and Minister for Health and Welfare, say? He said:
I ask the hon member: Does he object to the reference to English-speaking people?
Of course no, man.
Why then does he not say so? You did not say so. [Interjections.]
Order! Hon members are using the words “jy” and “jou” too freely across the floor of this House.
Mr Chairman, why, then, does the hon member not say so?
The hon member for Rissik also asked, at one stage, what the position was with regard to Indians in the Orange Free State. A point of view exists—and I think the CP is already telling it as a story in Harrismith—that there is an absolute bar to the movement of Indians according to the old Free State Statute Book. I ask the hon member: Does he agree with that faulty, demeaning point of view that there is an absolute bar? [Interjections.] Does the hon member agree with it? Therefore it is incorrect if such a point of view is put forward. What he is saying, therefore, is that the Indians already have freedom of movement in the Free State. [Interjections.] Of course, that is the implication. We are not arguing about that.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
I do not want to reply to questions now. My time has almost expired. The fact is that Indians have right of way and free movement in the Free State. This was stated beyond all doubt by the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education.
What about ownership rights?
I shall come to that now. [Interjections.] I state unequivocally that those hon members do not object to what I have said thus far. The hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education also put this beyond all doubt in 1983.
As far as permanent settlement is concerned, the position is largely that which applies in terms of the present Group Areas Act. The hon the Minister of Health and Welfare, the leader of the NP in the Orange Free State, directed that a committee of our party investigate this matter in depth so that, if such were the findings, the Free State could be brought into step with the rest of South Africa. [Interjections.] Then the position can be the same as, say, that in Rissik or Arcadia. What is wrong with that? The position can then be brought into step with the situation in any other place in South Africa.
I understand that the hon member for Rissik, as leader of the CP in the Free State, has undertaken to move to the Free State, because there are no Indians there.
That is not true. I am not the leader of the CP in the Free State. I am an Afrikaner and I know what I want for my people.
In the process of considering this matter we are looking at the practical implications, and negotiations will also be held with the other leaders in the OFS.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister of Justice crossed swords with the hon Leader of the Official Opposition on the question of the overcrowding of our prisons as a result of the operation of the pass laws and influx control. Whatever figures the hon the Minister may have given this afternoon, what he did not do was to deny that the whole system of justice in South Africa has been burdened totally unreasonably for years as a result of the operation of the pass laws and influx control. What he did not do was to tell us how many people are prosecuted each year in terms of the pass laws and influx control legislation. Is it 100 000, 200 000 or perhaps 300 000? The hon the Minister’s own commission, the Hoexter Commission, as well as other commissions, has put the spotlight on the burdening of the system of justice as a result of pass laws and influx control. I am going to return to the question of influx control later during the course of my speech.
The debate is moving to a close; it ends tomorrow. The motion moved by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, and supported by us on these benches, has highlighted the fact that this country is at present in the midst of a desperate economic situation where people of all races are finding it more and more difficult to maintain the quality of life to which they have been accustomed, let alone improve it. In addition, the debate has highlighted the fact that there is political division and discontent in this land as never before. There is division between White and White, between White and non-White, between Coloured and Coloured and between Asian and Asian. If one takes all these factors—the economic situation and the racial division in the country—together, a picture is produced of a country which is far from being able to present an image of stability, either economic or political, which is necessary if we are to recover from the economic morass in which we find ourselves at the present time. In this situation, a government which has been in power for 37 years cannot escape responsibility because by its actions, its policies, its preoccupation with unrealistic political ideologies …
Order! Will members please speak more softly. The hon member may continue.
As I was saying, it is the Government’s responsibility, because it is its actions, its policies and its preoccupation with racial ideology which has produced most of the ills from which we suffer at present. In fact, the chickens are coming home to roost.
The Government tend—and they have done it again and again during this debate— to shrug off their responsibility. They tend to blame the drought and the decline in the price of gold. Everybody and everything else is at fault except the NP.
The other day, the Minister of Finance resented the fact that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition had indicated that there were many factors other than the price of gold which had brought about our present financial situation. He stated correctly that gold had always been our prime export commodity and that, naturally, a drastic drop in the price of gold would have a serious effect on our economy. Yesterday, the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry made the same point and criticized the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition for underplaying the dependence which this country has on the gold price.
Therefore we still get the picture from the Government, as they have indicated again, that they intend to rely more and more on the hope that there will be a radical change in the gold price to rescue the country from its present financial predictment. However, if one looks back at the Government’s past history, one must ask whether that will be the case. In 1971 the price of gold was about $35 an ounce. It multiplied 10 times over the 14 years up until last year. Despite that fact we still find ourselves in a situation which is, to say the last, precarious from a financial point of view. Despite all that bonanza over the 10, 13, 14 year period of an increase in the price of gold—a period as a result of which one would have hoped that we would have been able to find a great deal of economic and political stability—we are in the situation at present where none of these things is a reality in South Africa. Instead, because of Government mismanagement and wasteful expenditure, we are in a state of financial crisis and economic depression.
In the interests of the future, I suppose one must resist the temptation to dwell too long on a theme which maybe labelled: “I told you so”, because that alone will not produce the results which are necessary in order to restore this country’s economy and stability. However, for the record, we on these benches have over the years warned again and again that the politics of this Government would drag South Africa into a disastrous situation. It is a fact that we have warned, for example, that the artificial constraints placed upon the mobility of labour in South Africa would have a deleterious effect on our economy. It is a fact that we have warned that the setting up of a multiplication of separate racial bureaucracies around South Africa, in order to feed the insatiable appetite of apartheid, would not only place an impossible burden on the State but would also not produce the solution to the race issue in South Africa.
Order! I have asked hon members not to converse aloud. If they do not comply, I shall have to name them.
It is also a fact that we have through the years warned the Government that the implementation of Acts like the Group Areas Act would be economically costly and totally counter-productive to the interests of society. Of course, the same can be said for the disastrous policies of forced removals and land consolidation. We have spent hundreds of millions of rand on these schemes and policies, and at the end of all that the reward is not racial peace and harmony but rather increased tension, increased anger and increased hostility throughout South Africa.
And misery. It is also a fact that we warned again and again during the run-up to the referendum as well as during the referendum campaign that unless the basic issues of South Africa were addressed, no new constitution would solve the problems of this country.
We warned that the new constitution, the tricameral system, would not produce the miracles that the Government claimed for it when they told us during that campaign that overseas confidence in South Africa would grow, that investment capital would begin to flow to South Africa once we embarked upon the new system. We have warned throughout of course that the exclusion of Blacks from the constitutional process would accelerate the anger and frustration amongst the majority population group in this country. It is therefore against that background that we debate the motion of no confidence in the Government, and it is of course also against that background that we must consider the State President’s speech at the opening of Parliament last week. We have welcomed what we consider to be some of the encouraging guidelines in that speech. However, in the light of the Government’s past record our reaction must of necessity be guarded at this stage, and time and the actions of the Government will determine whether our cautious encouragement is justified or not.
The State President did address himself to some of the more important issues of the day. He talked further about negotiation politics, about setting up structures to consult and to negotiate with people. He spoke of the need to give all the country’s people a say in decision making which affects their interests. He spoke of the need to give Blacks opportunities of obtaining full individual property rights. He told us of the Government’s acceptance of the permanence of Black communities in the Republic of South Africa. He also said that steps to promote orderly urbanization and to eliminate negative and discriminatory aspects of influx control were receiving serious and urgent consideration. These were some of the more encouraging aspects of the State President’s speech. We shall in future look with interest to see how effect is given to this.
If the State President’s comment on these matters is to be taken as any sort of declaration of intent, much will depend on how flexible the Government intends to be in regard to its past attitude, and whether the Government will have the courage to depart from the hardline attitudes which have characterized its administration over the past 37 years.
Let me deal specifically with the question of urbanization and of influx control. Up until now the Government has tended to try to check the tide of urbanization by way of influx control measures, which have been totally ineffective and counterproductive. We also know that influx control and the operation of the pass laws, apart from being ineffective, have in fact been the greatest single source of irritation as far as the Blacks in this country are concerned, and that these have also led to very deep and considerable discontent and hostility on the part of the Black people concerned. When we look at the process of urbanization, at the whole question of influx control, we have to realize what we are dealing with. We have to realize and accept—and I hope the Government does— that urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon. It is an inevitable and irresistible process with which society will have to cope for decades to come. There are special circumstances in South Africa—when we consider urbanization and influx control—which must of essence receive our consideration, the 1980 census figures in South Africa indicated that between 13 million and 14 million South Africans of all races were urbanized. That was more than 50% of the population. 88% of the Whites were urbanized, as were 90% of the Asians, 70% of the Coloured people and about 40% of the Black people. That is what was reflected by the 1980 census figures. There is considerable evidence to support the notion that in this country, in comparison with other countries throughout the world, we are at present underurbanized in relation to our level of development. The rapid expansion of the Black population, in particular in the urban areas, has to be anticipated in the years ahead. We know that there are two basic sources of urban growth, namely the natural growth of the existing population, and, secondly, the immigration of people from the rural areas to the urban and metropolitan areas. We are told that the natural growth of the Black urban population, which is at present about 6 million poeple, will increase to something like 14 million people by the year 2000. That is apart from the urbanization which may take place in the Black homelands themselves. The factors influencing urbanization in South Africa are its industrial growth, necessitating the mobility of labour to the industrial and metropolitan areas and, secondly, the very important factor of the pressure on land. This is because more than half of the Black population of South Africa live in 13% of the land area. The State President spoke on the land issue this afternoon, but the fact is that more than half of the Black population live in 13% of the land area. This is a major factor of pressure in regard to the whole urbanization process in South Africa; in other words, 11 million people live in homeland areas which produce less than 4% of our gross domestic product.
Up until the present time Government policy, in trying to deal with the process of urbanization, has been centred almost entirely around the policy of influx control. Attempts to encourage Black people to move out of the urban areas into the homeland areas have been the order of the day. This is what it has been about, as far as the Government is concerned.
Throughout the years we have had Ministers who have said: By the year so-and-so there will be a stream back into the homeland areas. The design of the Government in dealing with the whole question of influx control in South Africa has been to get the Black people back into the homeland areas and into the so-called reserves, as they were called. Not only has this been totally ineffective but it has also been totally counter-productive. The policy of trying to locate a large part of the Black population in the homelands has misfired and the consequences of this, I presume, were totally unintended.
One of the consequences has been that the rapid population growth in the homelands has caused a substantial decline in the material conditions of life in those homeland areas. This has in turn increased, rather than decreased, pressure for migration to the metropolitan areas of South Africa. This has been one of the effects of trying to herd people back into areas which cannot contain them. It has caused a decline in the standard of living and of life in those areas, and the pressure has therefore increased to get them to move back to the metropolitan areas.
It can be said that the only effect which influx control has had, is to influence where South Africa’s urbanization is taking place, but in no way to stem or reverse it. I think here of examples such as the Pretoria/Winterveld situation, the Bloemfontein/Onverwacht situation, or the Durban/Inanda/kwaZulu situation which have been the result of this sort of policy. They have still moved to the urban areas although perhaps to different places.
If the Government thinks that influx control has in any way served to avoid a kind of Third World urbanization taking place, it has not achieved that at all. Influx control has not prevented the development of Third World urbanization. It has merely tended to relocate it in other areas. In effect the present policy ensures that the impact of rigid urbanization falls most heavily on those public authorities least able to deal with it, for example, the homeland authorities. That is the tragedy of the situation. That is one of the reasons why influx control has to go as quickly as possible. It makes the situation far more difficult than it would otherwise have been.
Another impact of influx control on urbanization is that it inhibits proper forward planning, because no-one knows, neither the Government nor the officials, how many illegal people there are in the great metropolitan areas of South Africa. There is no way of determining this. The size of the urban population is largely unknown. This makes a projection of the future urban population from the point of view of future planning a totally unrealistic exercise. It is therefore absolutely imperative in our view that the Government abandon the influx control laws as soon as possible and substitute for them a vigorous urban development policy, with planning to provide access to jobs, housing, education and all the other aspects of life which are so essential in the urban areas of South Africa or anywhere else in the world.
In addition to abandoning influx control and providing for the real amenities for urbanization, the Government should at the same time embark upon an integrated rural development scheme aimed at absorbing an appropriate number of people in rural situations and providing a viable mix of commercial, agricultural and small-scale farming industries and services to sustain the development in those areas.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at